Monday, February 28, 2005


I have permission from Lori, via Jemima, to be a lazy blogger tonight. That's pretty much been the theme of the evening. I did work out tonight, after squeeing with Jerie who too shares my deep love and admiration for all things "Without a Trace", but after that, it was futon!time, just in time for Reality Stars Fear Factor.

My love of reality television has no shame.

Because it was such a lazy, lolling around kind of day, I had a lazy, lolling around kind of dinner. Namely, a samosa -- very oily, -- and nachos, drenched in cheese and salsa.

Every now and then I just really like to eat junk for dinner. I don't really munch much -- usually tortilla chips or crackers are my snack items of choice. I also like yogurt and sliced apples and I tend not to eat that much between meals. But every now and then, it's like, "I want SUGAR! I want GREASE! I want FAT!" And so then, out comes the salsa, chedder cheese and nachos, and there's dinner.

For any mothers who might be horrified, I should probably also mention in my family, it was perfectly acceptable to eat cake for breakfast. Ice-cream was also considered an acceptable meal in a pinch (I have an extreme weakness for ice-cream; hence, I rarely ever have it at home). When it comes to indulgence and food, my family definitely lives to eat.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Feeling productive

I've been on a mad rampage this whole weekend and now, at just before 5 pm on Sunday, I'm feeling a little at loose ends because I don't have the usual "Oh my God, I have to go to work tomorrow" routine to start. It's just weird knowing all the laundry is done, put away, that there are no dishes to take care of, and there's plenty of food in both the fridge and pantry. Yes, there are still a few things that need to be done, but nothing major -- well, I do have taxes to do -- standing between me and Monday. It makes me both happy and nervous at the same time, like there's something I've forgotten.

I haven't been this efficient or productive in months.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


I've written about self-editing before, but the other part of the process is having someone else look at what you've done and give you their opinion. An editor can serve many roles -- muse, plot doctor, grammar expert, support system, fact checker, and sounding board. The writer holds primary authority and responsibility over what the final version of the story looks like, but an editor can help and offer a fair and honest and unemotional assessment of what's going on. When I'm looking for someone to edit a story of mine, here's what I look for:

  • Someone with a good command of the English language, and not just in terms of vocabulary and understanding, but also for grammar. Ideally, the editor should be able to point out the misplaced commas or the misuse of words. So many times I've read stories where I look a the words used and think, "Oh, the writer didn't mean *that*." Ex. 'Disinterested' and 'uninterested' are not the same thing and most people mean the latter, rathern the former which means 'neutral'. Also, the editor should be able to differentiate between affect/effect, their/they're/there, your/you're, its/it's -- you get the picture.

    By no means, if you find the grammar/language editor of your dreams, does this exempt the writer from knowing the rules. Using language and grammar improperly is not an option for anyone who takes writing seriously. Learn the rules, and then find someone who can help you make sure you're enforcing them.

  • An editor shouldn't be solely critical or positive. If they lean too far to either direction, it's time to take another look at whether they're actually helping or not. If the feedback is consistently negative, without giving reasons *why* or *how* to fix them, then this may not be the best editor-writing relationship. If the feedback is consistently positive, pointing out just the things you do well and nothing else, then again, it may not be a good relationship. Editors should be able to point out the good and the bad both. They should be able to hone in on your weaknesses and help you emphasize your strengths. Carping on the weaknesses only can undermine confidence, while emphasizing strengths can lead to overconfidence.

  • Based on the above, if someone tells you something your editor has never mentioned before, or anyone else for that matter, it might be worthwhile to listen. I've heard many times people saying, "Oh, that can't be right. No one has ever given me *that* criticism." While criticism stings, take a step back and look at it dispassionately. Some people criticise for the joy of criticising; it's your job as the writer to be able to tell the difference. If someone says, "Okay, this story is a little too wordy and by the way, I don't understand what this means," examine the story in that context. Maybe they're right, maybe they're not; either way, just because no one has ever said something before doesn't mean it's untrue.

  • I define constructive criticism as "Here's what I like/dislike about your story and this is why and here's how you can fix it." It's not easy to get constructive crit, no matter how politely worded, but it's a necessary step in putting out a quality final project. Ideally, an editor will be able to tell you how to fix the weaknesses. If not, then it's up to you to come up with a solution. Editors are there to help, but it's up to the author to actually come up a solution that works for them. Which leads me to my final point.

  • Having an editor, by the way, does not exempt the author from self-editing or even critically considering what an editor has said. Anything an editor says is merely a suggestion or an opinion -- not a hard and fast "you must do this or ELSE" type statement (at least, they should very rarely be worded that way, unless it means the difference between getting published or not -- in which case, the final decision about what to do still lies with the writer). The editor isn't always omnipotent and all-knowing, but if they are competent, they also won't be off-base most of the time. It's important to evaluate all statements made, and learn to tell the difference between pettiness and things that will genuinely help. In the end, it's up to the author to decide whether to implement what an editor says.

Friday, February 25, 2005


I wish there was a 'rebuttal' book to the bestselling "He's Just Not That Into You" (HJHNTIY) and if I had my way, it'd be called "You're Not That Into Him and This Is How You Call It Quits." Because, as much as it sucks when you like someone who doesn't like you back, it sucks just as much when you realize that while you value your relationship with the person, you're just not as into them as they are into you.

In my case, because on the surface everything makes sense, I keep hanging on, thinking "I can work on this, obviously, it's *me* and I just need to be *logical* because all of my desired variables are present." Even when I decided very recently that a relationship *wasn't* working and I had discussed the situation many times with S. about ending it completely, I still didn't have the guts to pick up the phone to call it quits. Instead, I kind of let it just drift away, only to be startled a few weeks later by a "Dear Seema..." email. In circumstances like this, I wish I'd just gone with my gut and made the first move; I wasn't that emotionally invested in the relationship, so I don't know *what* was holding me back from actually having the "we need to talk" conversation.

Unfortunately, relationships aren't mathematical and you can't ever make a gross generalization about your interactions with another person; in the end, you can't force something, no matter how much you want to, and you can't be as nice about it as you want to be either. If only it was possible to be as glib about ending a relationship as HJHNTIY makes it sound -- no matter what side of the equation you're on.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best

Newsday columnist Mike Thomas talks about Terri Schiavo better than I can. The story is incredibly sad, but the legal battles just brought home the reality of just how important it is to make sure those you leave behind know exactly what you want.

The idea of preparing a last will and testament as well as a living will freaks the heck out of me. That's not something someone my age does, but now that I have two pennies to rub together, I need to make sure the state doesn't get all of the mullah. I also want my family to know exactly what my wishes are if I am unfortunate enough to end up like Terri Schiavo. You have to let those who have your best interests at heart know what you want -- whether it's letting you die if you are so severely incapacitated there is no quality of life or desiring all measures taken to keep you alive, regardless of quality of life; you can't assume those who love you know or even can make these difficult and emotional decisions. In fact, it's probably even best to designate ahead of time that person who will make these kinds of decisions for you, so you don't end up stuck between two warring parties.

No one wants to think about death or dying. No one wants to think about what happens if the only quality of life is sustained by machines. Nor do you want to be the one sitting at a bedside wondering what your loved would have wanted. It's not enough to verbally tell someone; you have to write it down, get it witnessed, and then make multiple copies and distribute. I'm not sure Terri Schiavo would have ever intended for her life to be turned into some kind of rallying cry from both the right-to-die and the right-to-life crowds; what she probably would have wanted most is the dignity that both sides have denied her.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Cutting clutter

I get about 2 to 3 credit card offers a day, and most of them are filled out with everything except my signature, which can be an issue when it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft. I usually shred any applications I get before throwing them away. Until today, I had no idea that the credit bureaus are in the business of selling information to the credit card companies and that's how you end up with those 80 gazillion applications.

If you want out, like I did, you can go here and opt-out from all credit reporting agencies at once or you can call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (888-567-8688). The other option is to snail mail each credit agency -- TransUnion, Equifax, Experian and Innovis -- separately.

I'm also slightly amused at reports that Choicepoint is now going to tighten security. Isn't that a little like shutting the gate after the cows have wandered out?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A trip down memory lane

When I was driving back on Sunday, I found an old tape from the early 90s. When I was in high school, I used to tape hours of radio on end and I got a kick out of listening to the scratchy quality, and of course, the DJs whom I'd adored so fervently when I was a wee one. A few of the songs on the tape I remembered as they are classics -- "We Are The World", "Physical," "Eye of the Tiger" -- but then there were other songs I barely remembered by one-hit wonders. Yet, I'm sure, when I was 12 or 13, I thought these guys were the best and I would never, ever forget them. Those were the days, natch, when the radio was pretty much surgically attached to my ear.

Who knew, more than a decade later, I wouldn't be able to remember the last time I listened to the radio?

I also found a mix tape I made for my aunt years ago. I never gave her the tape -- Real Life (tm) interfered in ways I would have never imagined and so the tape is still in my possession. I was listening to it tonight on my way to meet a friend for dinner. Some of the songs on that tape are still among my favorites, including Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon." I also had taped my 'relaxation' song, the one I listened to before any big test in college -- Everything's Alright from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar." Of course my version is the one sung by Sarah Brightman.

Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to
Problems that upset you, oh.
Don't you know
Everything's alright, yes, everything's fine.
And we want you to sleep well tonight.
Let the world turn without you tonight.
If we try, we'll get by, so forget all about us tonight

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bon Appetite

This weeked, my brother, S-i-L, cousin and I cooked dinner for my mom's birthday. Dinner was Thai -- my brother's current obsession. I made the soup and amazingly, it was not a disaster. Here is the recipe:

Clear soup with spinach and tofu

2 quarts vegetable broth (or any broth you prefer)
6 green onions, finely chopped
8 oz firm tofu, cut into 1-inch squares
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
A handful of spinach leaves, stemmed if you'd like
10-12 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Freshly grated pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Bring the broth to a boil on medium heat. Add all ingredients except for spinach. Cook for about two minutes. Add spinach. Cook for another couple of minutes and then remove from heat. Season to your taste.

Broth recommendation: Pacific Foods

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Without a trace

As I was driving home this afternoon, I looked up at the the giant screens that line our interstates every 3-5 miles within city limits. Usually the billboards give up to date information -- weather info, construction updates, or the famous 'Click it or ticket' -- in reference to our seat belt law. Today, the sign read "Child Kidnapped." The lights at the top of the screen were flashing for additional emphasis. The sign gave no other information other than a description of the vehicle -- blue Dodge SUV and a license plate -- and a message to call the police in Big City to the North.

For the entire 3-hour drive, I checked out all the cars, looking for a blue Dodge SUV. I repeated the license plate number under my breath. I wondered if the child was a boy or a girl and how old he or she was. I wondered if the child knew his or her kidnapper. Why did the kidnapper do this? Was it a disgruntled parent on the wrong side of a custody battle? A stranger? Who witnessed the kidnapping and managed to get the license plate number? Did they happen to see if the kidnapper went north or south? If they were coming south, then maybe I'd come across them. Mostly I hoped by the time I hit the first sign in my Current City, that the Amber Alert would be replaced with the usual "This city is STILL under construction" message; unfortunately, when I got to the city's outer limits and the first 'achtung' sign, the headline was still "Kidnapped child."

Now I'm wondering whether the kidnapper saw the Amber Alert. I wonder if he left the highway. But mostly, I wonder about the child and pray that the alert worked, that the blue Dodge SUV was spotted and that the child has been returned to his or her home.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Things I should talk about

I made a list today of all the things I should blog about if I wanted to be a 'power' blogger and so to spare everyone statistics and propaganda, I hereby give you the Cliff Notes version of what I'd say on major issues. Some of this is redundant, but I'm nothing if not redundant.

  • Social Security reform -- Neither social nor secure, discuss. In a nutshell: it's not as broke as the Bush Administration would like to believe, but not as solvent as the Democrats would like us to think. My take: raise the cap on payroll taxes, increase retirement age, cut some benefits and start personal accounts for those under 55.

  • Internet trolls -- Go away already. Sheesh.

  • "Without A Trace" -- Are you watching this show? You should be watching this show. If you take away NOTHING else from this blog, take this.

  • Bloggers and the media -- Bloggers are not journalists. Nope, nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Stop pretending they are.

  • Abortion -- There's nothing wrong with acknowledging that an embryo has value, that it is a baby and can feel pain. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that this is a difficult moral decision for many people. There is nothing wrong in acknowleding that abortion should be rare but safe. That being said, America, I don't want you picking out my socks for me; I certainly don't want you to tell me what I can or cannot do with my body. Get out of my uterus already.

  • The Amazing Race -- Best. Reality. Show. Ever. I'm not happy about Rob and Amber (from "Survivor: All Stars") on this next edition, but I shall get a fiendish glee out of seeing them getting booted (and I may scream if they win the $1 million prize).

  • The War in Iraq -- Nothing will ever persuade me this was a Good Idea (tm). Spin it any way you want, and even if a purple-fingered Iraqi woman hugs me, I'm still not going to think it was a good idea.

  • Margaritas -- Still. Totally. Rock.

  • Gay marriage -- It's not fair to blame people who can't get married on the deterioration of marriage in this country. If you want to talk about people who shouldn't be married, take a look at J.Lo or Britney Spears. Good grief. Take away THEIR right to get married already.

  • Enterprise -- I'm not sad that there won't be Trek on television next year; I am sad that Enterprise is getting the heave-ho just when it's getting really good and I'm starting to recognize the show I love.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

No one can hear you scream in cyberspace

Every now and then you come across a person online and you just wonder what they are like in Real Life (tm). Every now and then I read a post or an exchange between individuals and think, "I hope I never ever in 80 gazillion years ever run into this guy in a well lit alley, let alone a dark one." It's not secret the relative anonymity of online life -- the fact you can choose what other people know about you and hide other facts -- has people acting in ways they wouldn't otherwise. Of course, when you see obnoxious or rude behavior online, you have to wonder what that person really is like.

I wonder if the person who disparages everything and claims cliquishness online is perhaps insecure and wants to be liked, but puts up a "This is why your [insert noun of choice] sucks" as a defensive mechanism. Or what about the people who go around leaving insulting comments in blogs or on forums? In Real Life, are they the quiet and shy type, the type who just really want to have their say but can't summon up the courage? Some people might be just as bold in RL as they are online, but more often I think it's a case of projection -- "This is who I want to be, this is what I want to say, and since no one knows who I am, and no can stop me, I'm going to be as obnoxious as possible."

ps. Hi Dave!

I'm having problems with my yahoo! email account -- -- so if you email me there, I can read, but I cannot respond. I've tried fiddling with my firewall, lowering the level from 'high' or stealth mode down to medium and I've added to my trusted sites list. However, for some reason, Yahoo!mail won't render correctly for me -- images are missing, scripts, etc. So when I hit 'reply' on an email, nothing happens. When I tried to access the site in that spawn of the devil, IE, the browser crashed. This is the only site I'm having this problem on, so I'm guessing the issue is on Yahoo's end and not mine, but gah, it's annoying.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Annoying things

On my way home from work today, I was behind a navy blue Buick. All was well until the Buick slowed down in the middle of the intersection and turned on its right-turn signal. So I thought, like any reasonable person, the Buick was going right. The Buick didn't go right. It kept driving ahead, slowly, with its right blinker going and going and going. For SEVEN BLOCKS. Who signals SEVEN BLOCKS before they have to turn? And then there was the person in the black RAV 4 who came to a COMPLETE STOP in the middle of the road even though there was a) no stop sign or b) traffic light or c) had any intention of turning. WHAT IS UP WITH THESE PEOPLE? Do you WANT me to crash into the back of your car?

Also, nothing like a good blog flounce.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Heart Day

It's a little late to do my usual blog rerun of Valentine's Day; I instead got a bit het up over bloggers attacking the mainstream media, instead of going after the pink and red holiday. I'm not sure exactly what the bigger tragedy is: bloggers who think they are journalists or the commercialism of romance.

Jessica and I went out for Mexican fastfood and had margaritas. Later, FG called me and said, "I am disheartened by Valentine's Day." My response will not go down in history in anyway. "Bummer," I said. "Bummer all around." And then I pointed out to her that by not celebrating the V-Day, she was not contributing to the exploitation of developing countries. I said, "Nothing says 'I love you' like child labor."

In the end, Valentine's Day is just, I don't know, one of those holidays I wouldn't mind eradicating from the calendar. It's right up there with President's Day as space-taker-uppers on the calender -- nothing more than a reason to either a) sell cards or b) have a huge big sale so people can go out and buy stuff. What we need is a solemn holiday where NOTHING is open, not even the movie theaters, and you can't buy gifts; a day where you're forced to spend time with the people you care about and tell them, face to face, without pink things or shiny balloons or a brand new bling, how you feel about them.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The NY Times recently published an article about the the 'power' of bloggers, this time noting conservative bloggers had brought down Eason
at CNN. Earlier this month, liberal bloggers went after fake
Jeff Gannon, Fake Reporter (tm)
, who was working for a conservative publication, and who seemingly had unrestricted access to the White House press corps. Before that, there were the bloggers who went after Dan Rather. The whole thing makes me a
little nervous, because it feels a little like "Oh yeah, you take one of ours down? We're going to take one of yours." I think it's fair to say *most* people think there's a bias in the media; I don't buy into the notion that it's entirely a liberal bias (the conservatives, for instance, rule the radio waves), but I do agree some people may think there is a liberal bias.

I think it's worthwhile for people to question the media, to point out facts. I will say some bias is unintentional, a lot of it coming down to deadlines and not being able to get both sides of the story for whatever reason (it reminds me of the time I wrote a feature on swimming lessons and interviewed only the instructors but forgot to talk to the kids and their parents). At the same time, I'm wondering whether there's a taste for blood and power now in the blogosphere and as a result, are we going to lose reporters on either side of the aisle? Are bloggers sitting at their
keyboards and sticking their tongues out at journalists like me* and say, "Ha, ha, we're watching you, and never mind we have no idea how you do your job or the pressures you're under or the fact when something is 'off the record', it is *off the record*."

I honestly don't care about whether it's conservative or liberal bloggers going after the media; what I take issue with are bloggers, who can say anything they want and
aren't bound by a code of ethics or style or even a journalistic organization, have elected themselves as the media watchdog.

Link: Another article on jobs and blogging.

* Former journalist

Sunday, February 13, 2005

How much clean do you have to clean if you could get clean

The bathroom has been driving me nuts for the last couple of months because I've been trying to kill the black mold between the tiles and on the caulking and nothing has been working. I've soaked it in Lysol, scrubbed with a brush, and still it grows. I'm convinced that when the greenhouse gases finally snuff out all the oxygen and turn this place into a pressure cooker, nothing will be left but black mold. It's THAT strong. Yesterday, I went after it again, and despite my heavy application of elbow grease, all I got back was gray mold.

To give you a little history, black mold is like THE cause celebre in my neck of the woods. It's the quickest way to get your house condemned, and easiest way to squeeze insurance companies out of a whole lot of money. My last apartment had black mold in the ceiling, thanks to the leaking upstairs bathroom. When I complained -- multiple times -- to the management, they finally sent over someone who PAINTED over the mold. We won't even talk about the moldy carpet in the bedroom, because of the leaking foundation -- the carpet that wasn't replaced until about two months before I moved out. I spent A LOT of money on Glade air freshners during the 18 months I lived in that place.

So of course, now when I see black mold in my shiny sparkly new apartment, I panicked. Black mold is a lot like cockroaches. Once you've got it, it's nearly impossible to get rid of; that's why houses with the mold can be total losses. Well, yesterday I was so motivated, I attacked the mold. One of us HAD to go, and as far as I know, I'm the only one paying rent. Well, the mold REFUSED to move out; it just kind of went pallid and grey, thus annoying me. I contemplated ripping out the caulking and then having the apartment people come and re-do it, but then I realized that that could be construed as wanton destruction and I do want my half of the deposit back.

In a OK Carroll style showdown, I poured the toilet bowl cleaner all over the mold and let it sit there for 10 minutes. I turned out the lights, put on the fan, and went and sat in the living room and watched part of "Speed 2: Cruise Control." I admit, I was feeling a little guilty about using toilet bowl cleaner on my tub, but really, people, how many chemicals do you need to clean your bathroom? I have three -- the Windex for the mirror, the Lysol Tub & Basin, and then the Clorox with bleach for the toilet. That's not counting the bleach and blue stuff pellets I throw in the toilet tank because of the water problems here (don't ask) or the Liquid Plumr I use because the drains don't... drain. Obviously, if there are SO many different kinds of cleaners for the bathroom, I was probably breaking some secret law somewhere akin to ripping off the tags on a mattress by using the toilet cleaner on the tub.

When I went back into the bathroom and wiped off the tub, I saw that the mold was GONE. Gone, gone, gone. I'm not ashamed to admit I did a little jig. The lesson of the day is that it IS okay to mix chemicals when cleaning the bathroom; manufacturers just want you to think that you HAVE to have this special thing for the tub and you HAVE to have this other thing for the mirror (well, okay there IS the problem of streaks on the mirror). Meanwhile, I'm just hoping the Valentine's Weekend Mold Massacre lives in infamy for all of moldkind; see if they try to move in here again.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Must Read

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is one of the most amazing books I've read in a long time. The novel tells the story of Amir and his friend Hassan -- the Kite Runner -- and of their childhood in Afghanistan, just before the Russians rolled in. Amir and Hassan are the best of friends despite their differing social status, until one day something happens to change their relationship forever.

The novel uses simple but effective language and some of the most killer moments in the book are the quietest. There is a lot of violence in this book -- some of it quiet and subtle -- and others more physical and obvious. It journeys through the 'good old days', explores Afghanis reactions to the arrival of the Russians, and then the horror of the Taliban regime. One thing I thought interesting was the attitude of the Afghanis who had been forced to remain behind after the Russian invasion towards those like Amir who managed to flee to America. One character remarks those who fled didn't bleed like the Afghanis who stayed behind.

This is one of those books that stays with you long after the last page has been turned. Some of it is over the top and some of the coincidences are a little bit much (and it's Bollywood, not Lollywood), but the character interactions and development and the violent journey Amir has to take in his quest for forgiveness is hard to forget. Even in the most brutal sections of the book -- for instance, a Taliban execution that Amir watches -- Hosseini very skillfully cuts in and out of the action, so the whole horror is there, despite the lack of play-by-play. It's as if Hosseini knows the exact details to use to drive home the point and make you see what has happened, despite not taking you by the hand and walking you through a scene.

I ver much admired the sparse prose used in this novel -- the author manages to squeeze so much life and energy out of a few words. As a reader, I felt there was no excess verbiage or scenes. Additionally, Hosseini uses repetition to his advantage; usually repetition can get on one's nerves, but since all of the incidents used were very telling ane necessary to the plot, it only served to re-enforce the larger picture -- of a boy who has grown up and is now searching for redemption. It's an intelligent novel, a bit hard to take at times, but well-worth it.

Friday, February 11, 2005

It's not what you do, it's what you say

The Washington Post had a good article about bloggers getting fired. I have to admit, these days I'm thinking a lot more about what I blog. The self-censorship has now extended beyond personally identifying details to who I talk about, what I talk about, and occasionally I write posts and then delete them thinking, "This is going to get me in TROUBLE."

This is a far cry from when I first started online. I started this website either late 1997 or early 1998 on my university's server. I was SO excited that I told everyone about this website. I didn't even care that people knew I wrote stories about Star Trek characters. When I started my first job, I told co-workers about the website and gave them the link (the former Geocities location for this site); heck, when I got awesome FB on ASC, I even told one of my co-workers about it and showed her the actual post. I even blogged about that job here, though I never did mention the company by name (being on the tech side for a while, I knew that the company had spiders out looking for illegal mentions of their name online). Obviously, times have changed and discretion is the way to go.

These days, I keep my web activities strictly to myself. At Very Big Publishing Company, only S -- who I've been friends with for many years now -- and a fellow fangirl knew about this site. At the current job, I haven't said a word there either and I'm not likely too. I'm not sure there is anything in this blog I could be fired for -- I'm not mentioning my companies by name or co-workers -- and I certainly don't give away secrets or other identifying information and I don't have any plans to blog about the job or the people. However, people are starting to get fired for content in their blogs that isn't directly related to their jobs. So then I wonder about the content here and I think, "Okay, there's nothing here my mom won't approve of" (Hi Mom!) but still... I can't help but feel a little uneasy.

I don't think I'm going to make any changes to this blog, not for the time being. I think the best policy is continue as I have been -- keep the content about current events and silly personal stories -- and keep the workplace strictly out of it. There's just a question of how far self-censorship goes; I think bloggers do need to take responsibility for what they post, but I also think there needs to be guidelines somewhere on what's acceptable and what's not.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What Mozilla needs

I may have totally missed where this feature is, but what Mozilla really needs is a place where you can go and cancel/delete your unsent messages. Right now, when I queue emails to be sent later, if for some reason they fail or I change my mind, I have no recourse to delete them. Either they all fail or they all go. As a result, I've sent some emails I didn't mean to -- for whatever reason -- and I also have emails queued up in my 'send later' folder that I no longer need to send later because I've already sent them. In theory, these 'unsent letters' should end up in the local folders, but that doesn't always happen (I don't know why). In the past, I think I've gotten around this problem by actually going into the program files and deleting out the unsent mail file; however, there has to be an easier, less techy way of dong this. Help?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I'm incredibly giggly right now, but unfortunately, I can't tell you publicly why I'm so giggly because I have NO idea who's reading and I'd hate for the person who caused my giggles to stop by and think, "Oh no, she's laughing at me!" and get all upset. Really, what I should say is: I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing because of you. THANKS, I needed that!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Good deed of the day

Bloggers of the world, help out a group of undergrads and take a survey. I think it's about ethics and blogging. My opinion: Ethics. Good to have 'em. Blogs? Can be a self-centered soapbox and as such, ethics and logic -- not always there.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The management needs you to know

I've been woefully irresponsible about updating the blog lately. There are two reasons for it. First, I realized I'm on the wrong side of the political aisle and hence, none of the opinions here are paid for by the DNC or the Kerry campaign and so I'm basically spouting propaganda for FREE. How wrong is that? Which leaves me two choices: continue to pontificate for FREE or head over to the White House and see if they have any opinions I can endorse; I'm a bargain too, I wouldn't ask for more than a thousand bucks or so. That's at least 10 times cheaper than anyone else out there shilling. Blogging would really be easier if I had a cat that I could post pictures of. Or a dog. Or a life. Either way, this blog would be WAY better with pictures.

Second, I have the sore throat from hell. It started innocuously enough last week as what seemed to be a mild cold and now it's like someone's not only dropped a bowling ball at the base of my throat, they took a razor to the inside of it too. And because I don't actually look sick, the throat obliges so when I speak, my voice comes out like a squeaky but fading blowhorn and each word hurts, so I've been reduced to croaking out monosyllables. So consider yourself warned: if you call, you will get NOTHING but heavy breathing. How's that for creepy?

Friday, February 04, 2005

Things that make me cringe

Is it just me but does anyone else know instinctively that when anyone on "American Idol" says they're going to sing a song by Whitney Houston that it's going to be bad? I mean, how many times really has there been a good rendition of a Whitney Houston song? It's a sign; 9.8 times out of 10, if you go in planning to sing "The Greatest Love of All", you're so not going to Hollywood. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Correcting an oversight

I've been reading in various circles that certain people are unhappy that certain other people haven't celebrated the successful Iraqi elections properly and publicly. I apologize for this blog's oversight: I was consoling my car, which failed its very first state inspection on Saturday and wasn't able to blog. In a nutshell, I am very happy the elections came off relatively smoothly, that 57 percent of the population made it to the polls, and that for the first time in 50 years, Iraqis got to vote for their leaders. It's an impressive and historical milestone for the country and let's hope this is the first step in a journey to a true functioning democracy.

However, I take issue with people who take this election as a justification for what we're doing in Iraq. I do not believe this election validates two years worth of bad decisions. I do not believe you can say that the ends justify the means; if we cared so much about people voting and spreading democracy around the globe and saving lives, well, I've got a list of countries that could certainly use our help. I never agreed with the war in Iraq. I never agreed with the premise of why we were over there and I certainly didn't agree with how the invasion took place.

Then there was the 'bait and switch'; there were no WMDs and the war was sold on the presence of WMDs. This administration never took responsibility for the bad intelligence or bad decisionmaking. Would it have been so hard for George Bush to get up there and say, "I'm sorry. I made a mistake. I thought the weapons were there, but they weren't. But now we have to stay because I made a mistake and I need to fix it." Instead, we get this rhetoric about spreading the 'fire' of freedom across the Middle East and the elections, well, that's just the oil in the fire. Watch out, Iran, the flames are coming to you next!

So you see, I'm of two minds. The Iraqis have been freed from an oppressive and brutal dictator (I have always agreed, btw, that Saddam Hussein was a boogeyman of the very worst kind) and they are finally getting a taste of what it is like to have opportunity. But don't ask me to applaud the decision to go to war and don't call me a traitor for wanting to bring the troops home.