Thursday, 30 June 2005

Dotting Your i-765s

The i-765 is the application for employment authorization. It's 11 pages long and requires an accompanying cheque made out for $175. Within 90 days from the service centre receiving my application (and hopefully approving it, he thought) I will be allowed to seek, and gain, employment. It's almost too easy.

So yes, things are progressing swimmingly, although at a glacial rate. Immigration is serious business; the process began last August with the first series of documents being submitted, and by all accounts will still be going on into next year.

However, it has never been boring; it's been quite intriguing, actually. Everything associated with the actual immigration is thoroughly thorough, as one might expect when transplanting yourself from one country to another.

I don't think I will apply for citizenship, though. The period where I could is still aways down the path, considering I don't have my permanent residency yet. The reason why I don't think I will become a citizen is because I currently hold two passports: my New Zealand one, and my British one, and they're both handy passports to have. If I became a US citizen I would have to give away both of those passports as I don't think (to my understanding) the US recognises dual citizenship. I'll have to do some further investigating.

But for now that line of musing is moot, and I will just concentrate on working through these other applications. Heh heh, alright.

Got the Cool, Got the Cool Shoe Shine

Time for me fingerprintin', geezer.

Well I just got off the telephone with the lovely USCIS service rep, and I now have my very own appointment for my biometrics thingie. The appointment was made for a couple of months from now, so we'll be driving down to Davie for that. Must make sure I get a haircut by then as my hair at the moment ... well, it's kinda doing its own thing ... unruly ... crazy, even ... but very soft and shiny thanks to the water filter Diane installed in the shower. So clean.

*

I could possibly be the first person in the whole wide internet to link to this interview with Gorillaz on Wired . Possibly. Remember, you read it there first via this link! Or maybe you didn't.

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Lady Grey and the Brain, Brain, Brain

The mail yesterday bought fabulous tidings and sugary delights for my t-buds. The tidings were from the folk at the Citizenship and Immigration Services, informing me they had cashed my $385 cheque and now require me to make an appointment for my fingerprints and mug shot. Ex-cellent.

Unfortunately, they also sent me another letter which I had the misfortune to open first. This letter had, in dreaded bold, 'Rejection Notice' smeared across its otherwise spiffy water-marked paper. Fark!

However, upon closer inspection (after my knees had stopped knocking) I discovered they were only returning another cheque of mine which they didn't require for my application. Whew!

So yes, another step closer to permanent residency for me. The next form I send off will be my application for a work permit, so I can start earning some serious bling. Somewhere.

The sugary delights were imbedded in a parcel which was from my parents back in New Zealand, who lovingly crammed it full of said sugary delights for Diane and I. There were my favourite marshmellows, jelly beans, fruitbursts, Cadbury chocettes, Lady Grey tea by Twinings (plus a teapot, more on that later) and a copy of the local rag, The Daily News.

Teapots are an essential item in the tea-making procedure. Sure, you can make it with a cup and a bag -- I can wing it with the best of them when making it like that. However, as a tea drinker, I could never replicate the flavour with just a bag'n'cup, sans the pot. It's drinkable, but not the same.

But now I have a tea pot, and tomorrow I shall buy a kettle, and together they and I will do the same thing we do every night, Lady Grey: try to take over the world.

You are on the Global Frequency

There's a fascinating article on Wired concerning a pilot that never was, and its growing fanbase online thanks to the BitTorrent network. The pilot in question is Global Frequency, based upon Warren Ellis's comic of the same name.

Unfortunately, the WB decided to pass on Global Frequency for reasons ... well, I'm not so sure what they were. But with any luck, the people who decide what gets made and what gets canned could have a re-think on Global Frequency and we might be on it before you can say, Miranda Zero.

Global Frequency writer/producer John Rogers speaks about the magical file-sharing of the pilot that never was on his blog. Also, I noticed he uses the same blog template as me, which earns him extra cool credits.

Monday, 27 June 2005

Dictations from a Dictator

Snooping through the Guardian today, I noticed they had two articles in their books section concerning the writing of two dictators from world history, both of whom need no introduction.

I wonder what will be next off the production line; what literary 'gems' from some of the dictators and certifiable nutcases from history await dear old Constant Reader? Perhaps we might have some posthumous publications, like a cookbook by Idi Amin, with a foreword by Gordon Ramsey; Healthy Herbs: From Basil to Parsley, by Rafael Trujillo; and Little National Socialist Me, by Hermann Goring.

The possibilities are truly endless!

Sunday, 26 June 2005

Loose Blogs Sink Jobs

Being fired from an occupation generally fits into a category we like to call, sucks arse.
There is a myriad of reasons for being let go, ranging from sleeping with the boss's life partner; lacing the office's caffeinated beverage machine, Mr. Coffee, with crack; posting inappropriate and generally pornographic images to the company's intranet; calling your boss a wanker; attempting to remove a colleague's trichobezoar with your swiss army knife; and one that is of relevance to bloggers everywhere: being fired because of the work-related content on your blog.

A quick google (using the search terms, worker fired blog (feel free to make your own ...)) reveals this to be a googable occurance. In fact, speaking of Google, Inc, one of their employees was shown the back door last February.

Even employees of book stores are not safe, which is odd because you'd think a company that sells, amongst other items, literature would be for freedom of expression and non-censorship. I'm sure there is plenty of material in book stores which would be offensive to book store owners, yet they still sell them.

This particular blogger worked in an Edinburgh book store, and was fired for 'gross misconduct'. From what I gather, the gentleman referred to his boss as 'Evil Boss', which is quite funny. However, Evil Boss was shown to be bereft of a sense of humour, and the blogger was dismissed.

Flying the friendly skies can bring you interesting experiences, from sky miles, mile highs, airplane toilets (anyone who's experienced long-haul knows what I'm talkin' about. Ugh.), bad food, etc. Well, sometimes the sky isn't so friendly to those who work for an airline and decide to combine blogging with photographs, which leads to ... yep, you guessed it: Firedville.

So tread carefully, you who have jobs and commit characters to blogs where you mention the daily drudge of modern employment, lest you find yourself in Davy Jones's Locker. Arrrgh, maties.

My Idiom's Up The Duff

A seemingly innocuous idiom that originated in Australia (and exported itself to New Zealand) has caused a bit of a hubbub at the Beeb. When a woman is pregnant with child, 'up the duff' can sometimes be used to explain this piece of news. However, the BBC don't appreciate antipodean idioms being inserted into their hallowed broadcast of some tennis tournament, even if the person saying it believed his microphone was off-air. Hilarious.

Thursday, 23 June 2005

The Poochie Show

As some of you might've guessed, I've been out of action for the past two weeks. For the main, my missing-in-action mode can be attributed to the latest acquisition to the household: a dog, hence the title of this post. I also couldn't be arsed typing in this blog because I had some issues with my writing. But I'm not gonna dump on you, suffice to say I'm over it and out of traction and back in action. Er.

So the pooch is a 5 month old pomeranium called Shelby who likes to chew furniture, your hand, your clothes, your shoes, etc. He also tries to get in a bit of frottage, but that has hopefully stopped now because, as of yesterday, he was at the local vet getting the snip. In fact, we collect him some time this evening, so that shall be cool.

Being a puppy he's naturally full of beans and seems to have an endless petrol tank fueling his endless hyperactivity. Being a cat person, I'm not used to an animal never tiring of playing because cats will eventually get pissed off with you from too much attention, and slink off to find some cozy den in which to catch several hours of sleep. Not so a puppy. A puppy never sleeps. It never tires. It just keeps coming at you.

Still, it's a good way to burn off some excess calories gained from consuming copious amounts of stuff you shouldn't consume in copious amounts. Mm, free goo.

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Ignorance Is Strength

The Guardian has an article on Eastasia's clamp down on bloggers and personal websites. One presumes perpetrators of the heinous crime of operating a blog not registered with the Party are led off to room 101 for a serious talking to.

Monday, 6 June 2005

Makin' Movies, Makin' Mix Tapes and Fightin' Round the World

Since I'm relatively new to the iPod/iTunes cultural revolution, I'm a little slow on some of the, er, finer aspects of iTunes. For example, did you know that celebrities have their own mix tapes on there? You probably did, but I didn't, so there.

Anyway, I thought it was illuminating taking a read through some of them. Russell 'Fightin' Round the World' Crowe's was ... well, he put one of his own songs on there. I don't know, is that in the same ballpark as your Mum telling you that you're handsome?

An article from Slate, dated from last year, even went so far as to suggest Beyoncé's mix tape 'sucked'. And it does. Plus it's crap.

Feel free to snoop around the list, although you'll need to have iTunes installed to snoop effectively.

Saturday, 4 June 2005

It's, Like, the Pet Rock of Our Age. Or Something.

If you by chance remember Pet Rocks from the 1970s (I don't (being too young), but I've seen enough pop cultural references to get what they are ... the name is kinda self explanatory as well) then you know I'm referring to fads.

Fads are interesting things; some are even so notoriously bad they have really cool nostalgic value. Things like spokey-dokeys, garbage pail kids, Tamagotchi's, and rubix cubes. Then there are the other fads which were just shit, like Vanilla Ice, New Coke, and that thing from circa 1996 that had a metal ring, and about four or so metal washers threaded onto the ring, and the aim was to rotate the main metal ring one way and get the metal washers going the other way thereby creating the world's most annoying sound. I think that's how it goes.

So where I'm going with this, is: do you think these, by which I mean blogs, are a fad? Or are they now an ingrained part of the information highway; a comfort stop for virtual-wayfarers to wax lyrical or hysterical about all and anything?

My take is that the blog is here to stay, and will continue to grow in much the same way everything else online has, from email (Yahoo! and Google both now offer 1 Gig of storage. 1 Gig! When I signed up to my Yahoo! webmail account way back in 1998 they had ... 3 mb of storage) to personal websites. Literally every man and his dog blogs now and there are awards for blogs, like the Bloggies.

Various news media have online blogs that allow bloggers to report on the most current of current events, or the most inane of incidental events. Yes, you get all that, and more.
I've noticed when watching the cable news stations here in the US that they will check to see what the bloggers are saying, and actually reference some as part of a story. The most recent I can recall was when the last Pope died, a news station ran the opinions from Catholic bloggers. They even had two of the bloggers in the studio expanding on their opinions. Amazing.

Bloggers can be a force for good, or a force for eeeeeevil. Actually I just made that up.


Blogs allow people, such as authors, to touch base with their readers, keeping them informed about upcoming publications and to even answer questions from said readers. The best of these author blogs that I have seen is Neil Gaiman's, who has been merrily typing away for four years now, and counting.

Blogging is a fantastic tool for promotion, which is being utilised even as we speak. David Duchovny types away on a blog, in particular while he was filming House of D. Video journals that are operated by some film sites are a visual form of blogging; Bryan Singer files interesting tidbits from the set of Superman Returns on Bluetights.net.

Book publishing deals can result from blogging, yessiree. There are all sorts of interesting topics springing from the virtual page to one you can hold in your very own hands. So fame and fortune can await the fortunate blogger. However, it might be fair to state that the antonym of fame, our friend infamy, is what some soul's achieve. An example of this is the Belle de Jour blog of a supposed London call girl.

Naturally, Belle's blog of bonking resulted in a publishing deal, so if you're really interested skip over to amazon and look it up. Really.

Not wanting to be outdone by the Brits across the Atlantic, America now has its very own Belle. She goes by the name of the Washingtonienne.

Actually, her real name is Jessica and her story can be found here at Wired. It makes for some interesting reading, but I felt like I needed to take a shower afterwards. It's also dying to be parodied. So I will.

---
June 1st 2004

Called up PSI last night, said he saw me with RPG and the next day with KY. I told PSI that RPG was just a friend, which is a lie but what he doesn’t know won’t, like, hurt him. Then KY came around with some MLB tickets to see the NYY play. It was so cute, but I said I couldn’t go as I needed to do my hair. He was sad when he left by himself. I was actually going to see DB, but I couldn’t tell KY that and I had to be, like, careful PSI didn’t see me again with DB, KY, RPG or any of the other acronyms I sleep with. It’s so hard living in DC!

June 23rd 2004

I'm so gorgeous.

June 24th 2004

Last night Mr. Undescended Testicle came around, like, unannounced. He saw my Manolo Blahnik shoes in my shitty apartment. He was, like, ‘Whoa, Manolo Blahnik shoes! On your salary?’ I had to, like, say I saved real hard for them. The loser believed me. That was a close one!’Mr. Undescended Testicle has a really, like, gross way to say Baskin Robbins. He like, goes, 'Hey, sugarbabe, ya wanna get some Foreskin Rubbins?' I’m, like, ew! And only if you’re paying for it. Loser.’

July 7th 2004

I'm so gorgeous.

July 8th 2004

My friend who works in Senator R.J’s private, like, inner sanctum called me up last night when I was trying to watch Sex in the City. I’m, like, girlfriend! I’m trying to, like, watch Sex in the City!’

And my friend, let’s call her … er, Samantha (tee hee) she says to me, 'honey I lost it!'

And I’m like, lost what?

And she says, 'my cherry!'

And I’m, like, nah-ah, you told me you lost your cherry when you were fourteen to that Mexican exchange student.

And she said, 'honey, I’m talking about my other cherry.'

And I was like, you have two vaginas?

And she’s like. 'No silly' (ps I hate to be called silly. I’m smart. And sexy.) 'I’m talking about you-know-where’

And I was like, where?

And she said, 'my ass, you ass!'

And I was like if there’s one thing I hate more than being called silly, it’s being called an ass. I’m not an ass, I’m amazing. And, um, amazing. I called her a bitch with my mind, but since she doesn’t have telepathesis she couldn’t hear me. I hate you, you bitch. But I only, like, hate her a little because she has bigger boobs than me. I’m nice to her face, though.

And she said,' hello are you there?'

And I was like, oh, I was thinking. So, what was it like, like?

And she went into, like, these extensive details that totally grossed me out. By the time she hung up I totally wanted to do it though, because I’m a bit of a whore. Lucky for me I also have that teevio thing so I didn’t miss Sex in the City. People who don’t have teevio are losers.

---

Etc.

While the above was a parody, it's not hard to guess what happens next. Sure the girl gets outed and loses job, but the publishing gods must have been smiling because sure enough, before you could say ka-ching!, the lovely little blogging girl who slept around was awarded with a book deal and a Playboy spread. Go the internet! Wired even has an excerpt for you to sink your teeth into.

I could say the whole sorry saga is abhorrent; but when compared to the things that are being done in the name of reality, it's merely flotsam on a foamy sea of faeces. So meh, homies. Meh.

*

In next week's exciting episode, your fearless author lavishes praise on the living coolness that is Mozilla Firefox.

Goodnight all.

PS- I'm actually not going to bed yet. I'm waiting to watch the Lions play Bay of Plenty, live! from Rotorua. I'm gonna make a cup of tea now. It's Twinings. Yum.