Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Devotion is an acceptable form of obsession. That's my thought for today. One hundred percent completely original thought. Fancy that.

No, but really. I get hopelessly obsessed by things and I have this weird habit of having to learn everything about anything that remotely catches my interest. Right now it's the Alamo. I've been there four times in six months. Right. I'm frightened too.But see, if I just say that I'm devoted to learning about the Alamo, that makes it all right, doesn't it? Okay, don't answer that question.

I thought I'd make a list of things I'm obsessed by. It's amazingly long. We've got: Henry VIII, Jane Austen, Roman civilization, the Ring of Fire, the Romanovs, Star Trek, the movie Gladiator, the book "Up the Down Staircase," web design, musical theater, Richard III, Shakespeare, Sarah Brightman, ice-skating, tennis, writing, La Madeleine... I'll stop now. I think I need to find a hobby. Oh wait...

Sunday, January 28, 2001

Jennifer Capriati. You go girl. More excitement than the Super Bowl, really. Congrats on your first Grand Slam win.

Read about Jennifer's win at the Australian Open here

Thursday, January 25, 2001

Jane Austen. My idol. I probably should adore someone more contemporary, but it's easier to transfer your affection to one who has been dead for centuries; that way you have no fear of competition and their complete sylllabus is known to all with no possibility of surprise.

So today's reading pick of the day? Jane Austen's wonderful satiric, "Northanger Abbey." This novel was published posthumously and it's my favorite of Miss Austen's work, with "Persuasion" ranking second. Lovely take on the gothic romances of the day and the general silliness of high society and the great value one places on connections. Definitely one of Miss Austen's more romantic novels, but with a cutting humor and a main character - Catherine - who is not altogether admirable. Rather, she is plain, not witty, and certainly has no talent of her own - an unusual circumstance for an Austen heroine. However, Catherine acquits herself admirably and manages to triumph at the end.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.


Tuesday, January 23, 2001

I got spammed. Big surprise there. My favorite are the people asking me to marry them. They obviously don't know me or they wouldn't be asking. Plus, half of the emails are in Arabic. I don't know what's up with that. Talk about marketing to the wrong demographic, sheesh! I can't even tell if these men (?) are charming, witty or eloquent. Dang it - the man of my dreams could be in one of those emails and I'd never know it. Maybe I should take up Arabic. Hmmm...

Meanwhile, jog on over to today's site of the day: the . Why? Because it's semi-cool. Okay, I've spent hours here. Many hours. It's especially fun if you're need of self-analysis. Have a good time.

Monday, January 22, 2001

Spammers are suffering from a lack of creativity. Really. Even their subject lines ("The Information You Requested" or "Hi!") are tediously dull. Makes me think that spamming is a lost art. I suppose there ought to be a school where we can send spammers so they can refine their craft to a fine science. Seriously. If you're going to send stupid emails to half of the planet, at least make them good. Since I own several (okay, many) email accounts, sometimes I get the same spam from the same person three or four times in one day.I'm truly touched, overwhelmed by this person's concern for my economic status ("Make Money At Home Now! Quit Your Day Job!") or their thoughtfulness in pointing out things that I may need ("Yes, this six-bullet gun and knife combination is a must!"). How can you not be impressed by a spammer's diligence in this respect? Sure, they take up bandwidth and make me excercise the "delete" button more than I'd like to, but really - they're just people out there who genuinely care about the well-being of the other 4.9 billion people out there. Truly, spammers are misunderstood. I'm glad I got the chance to set the record straight.

Site of the day: Urban Legends - Ever wonder about those mail forwards that your friends (or enemies) might send you? You know what I'm talking about - the ones that say that if you go to a bar, you'll likely end up losing a kidney in the process? Or the heart-wrenching "missing child" ones? Or "send me a million postcards because I'm in the hospital" emails? Go to this site first and check out the veracity before clicking "forward."

Saturday, January 20, 2001

Clinton left the White House today. Someone held up a sign that said, "Please don't go." My feelings exactly.

Good luck to the new president. He's going to need it. I do hope Congress doesn't feel the need to eat President Bush alive because of the lack of mandate. Let him do his job and in four years, we - the majority - will get our chance again.

Friday, January 19, 2001

I love angst. I'm unhealthily addicted to angst. Angst in fiction though - let's make that clear. Angst in Real Life (tm) isn't as much fun. Now, "Wuthering Heights" takes the cake for angst. Emily knows her angst. Think about when Heathcliff finds out that Cathy loves him but will marry Linton anyway because it would be unacceptable for someone of her status to marry someone like Heathcliff. Now that's serious turmoil. How can you not be moved by lines like: "Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" or "Nelly, I am Heathcliff—he's always, always in my mind."

And then there is "Iolokus," an X-Files fanfic that tortures Mulder & Scully to unimaginable heights. Angst here is unbelievable. You've got interesting characterization - most would agree that these people are not the Mulder & Scully we love - but you let it go because the authors, MustangSally and RivkaT, take you down the most amazing path of character growth and development. You laugh, you cry, and at times, you curse the authors for making Moose and Squirrel suffer so much, but in the end, it's all worth it. Trust me on this one. Angst. Lots of it. The only way to go.

So without further ado, this week's reading recommentations are:

Thursday, January 18, 2001

To celebrate the inaguration of our new president, I give you a double hitter:

Have a good time.
I'm feeling slightly off today. Probably because I just looked at my Dilbert and realized that in two days W is going to be our president. Here's something to think about:

Overheard at a protest on the capitol steps during the election mess: "We'll make the sacrifice; we'll keep W." Loved that.

Site of the week: The Onion - new issue out today. Definitely a happy Seema.

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

A recent conversation with a friend reminded me how terrible high school and middle school really is. It's been a while, but I still remember how evil people could be during those years. I don't think anyone means to be evil, we simply don't realize how insensitive we're being. Or maybe we do - which makes it infinitely worse. So then, my friend and I moved on to the topic of high school reunions. Who goes to those things anyway? The only reason I can think of going is so I can compare my life to everyone else's and maybe gloat a bit - which is extremely petty, immature and incredibly high school. But then, who are we foolin' anyway? Who goes to high school reunions to catch up things gone past and trade recipes anyway? Most of us - let's be frank - only care about how much better we are doing in our lives or secretly crow about how we're looking so much better than a fellow classmate. During this conversation with my friend, I realized that college is filled with people who hated high school. So what's up with that? Is there anyone out there who really liked high school? And I figure, we all hated it because of the evilness factor. And if that's true, then why were we so evil to each other?

Monday, January 15, 2001

You know, I go back and forth on this George Bush thing. First I was all for Al Gore, then I wanted it to be over, then I went through my patriotic mood. I went through a "maybe it won't be so bad" phase. Now I'm thinking that four years can't go fast enough so we can get this guy out there. Funny, he hasn't even taken office yet, but there you have it. At least "Saturday Night Live" should be good for the next few years.