Sunday, December 30, 2001

Blog Wars IV

(Quick summary for those of you trying to follow along - Blog Wars IV immediately follows below)

Declaration of War
Response to Declaration of War
Blog Wars I
Blog Wars II
Blog Wars III


Colonel Kira walked briskly down the Promenade on her way to Ops. It had been, she reflected, a fairly quiet day in the life of DS9 and for that, she was very grateful. Yes, of course, there was the typical whining that accompanied this type of job - mostly from Cardassians who suddenly weren't so tough anymore.


Kira turned at the sound of Ezri Dax's voice. Inadvertantly, the image of Ezri dressed as an elf for the ancient Terran holiday of Christmas jumped into Kira's head. The green outfit, with its little green slippers with the upturned toes, had looked amazingly good on Ezri and Kira could not help but notice that Bashir had been likewise drawn to his girlfriend's curious costume.

"Counselor," Kira said. "What is it?"

"This just came for you," Ezri said. "And since there was no one else in Ops to deliver it-"

"You were in Ops?" Kira asked in disbelief. "Ezri, you're no allowed in Ops." Kira had banned Ezri from Ops several weeks back when Ezri had attempted to counsel an officer still suffering from Post-Dominion War Stress; unfortunately, the treatment had backfired and now the poor officer was deluded into thinking he was a shapeshifter and insisted on being treated as a God. Ezri, however, usually fell back on her seven - or was it eight? - lifetimes of experience as a way of getting herself out of most situations, but Kira refused to be cowed on this particular matter. No Ops for Ezri, none at all.

Ezri shrugged off Kira's comment though in that irritatingly elven way of hers. "I think you'd better read the message. Sounds serious."

Kira scanned the PADD quickly. "Looks like they want us to send the Defiant -"

"Wasn't the Defiant destroyed?" Ezri asked.

"We got a new one," Kira said. She frowned. "I think. Maybe around the same time as we got the seventh Weyoun?"

"I thought it was the ninth Weyoun."

"They all look the same," Kira said, dismissing Ezri's comments with a wave of her hand. Too much to keep track of, Kira thought.

After all, she was a former terrorist (no, no, resistance fighter!), not an administrator! "Looks like there's a dispute going on. Quite a serious one. Might impact the Fanfiction Treaty."

"The Fanfiction Treaty?" Ezri scowled. "Haven't heard of it. What does it involve?"

"Evidently, the parties involved are Seema and Lori."


"I have heard those names!" a thunderous voice bellowed from behind them. Kira and Ezri turned around slowly.

"Worf?" Ezri asked.

"Oh this is contrived," Kira said. "What shabby reason brought you here today?"

"This is the type of welcome you give after all this time?" Worf asked. He frowned. "I am diplomat - no, a warrior - no, a Starfleet officer. I deserve respect!"

Kira nodded. "Of course, Worf, it's wonderful to see you again. What brings you here?"

"I've been sent by Captain Picard," Worf said. "Apparently, there is a dispute over the Fanfiction Treaty. I have been asked to resolve this feud."

"And I thought you'd come to see me," Ezri complained. "What's the matter with you, Worf? You never meet me in the holodeck for bat'leth practice and you never send me flowers anymore. And," her voice turned silky, "you don't read me Shakespeare any more or sing Gilbert and Sullivan."

"Good riddance," Bashir said. Kira turned around.

"Where did you come from?" Kira said.

"Medical explanation or just the obvious answer?" Bashir asked.

"Still a child, I see," Worf boomed. "Immature and lacking in all tact and subtlety."

"Hello pot, this is the kettle," Bashir jeered back. He took Ezri by the arm. "Are you back for my girlfriend? Can't have her without a
fight, you know."

"No fighting!" Kira yelled.

"I am not a possession," Ezri said. She wrenched her arm free from Bashir's grasp. "I make my own decisions. For instance, I like prune juice, so there!"

"A warrior's drink," Worf said approvingly. He held out his arm and Ezri took it willingly. "I have a holodeck program that I think you will

"No!" Bashir screeched. He hurled himself at Worf, but the strong Klingon merely flicked his hand in the direction of the doctor, sending the young man sprawling across the Promenade, landing at the feet of Vic Fontaine and Quark. Kira groaned.

"That damned light bulb is back," she said. She turned her attention back to the PADD, trying to ignore the fact that Ezri and Worf were staring slavishly into each other's eyes. "Now, Mr. Worf, since you're here-"

"Not now," Worf grumbled. "Come, Ezri, let us run away to the woods of Sherwood." He smiled dreamily - or as dreamily as a Klingon could - "I shall be Robin Hood and you, you would be enchanting as Maid Marian."

"You, my merry man," Ezri sighed deeply, her large brown eyes widening with devotion.

"I think I'm going to be ill," Quark said.

"I am ill," Bashir moaned from his spot on the floor. Vic leaned down to pull Bashir to his feet.

"This looks serious." Kira waved the PADD in the general direction of those surrounding her. Yet, they paid no attention whatsoever. "It looks to me like there is a crucial decision to be made here, namely, who is responsible for the idea and the creation thereof a story?"

"Fanfiction Treaty?" Vic Fontaine asked in interest. "Doll, that sounds interesting. Like a club or something. What the girls call me. In fact, how about this? Tonight, you come, bring pally over here -" he indicated Worf - "and I've got some new material. You can talk this fan stuff out then. How about it, doll?"

Kira scanned the PADD, doing her best to ignore Vic. She knew that Vic was responsible for finally allowing her to acknowledge her feelings for Odo, but really, the man was annoying at best and downright irritating the rest of the time. As she read the material on the PADD, Kira knew there was plenty of good stuff involved in this dispute between Lori and Seema. In fact, something like this had never been seen before and she was quite interested in the whole concept of origination.

"I believe it would be worth our while to mediate this dispute," Kira announced. But no one was listening. Worf had swept Ezri up into his arms and was walking away, despite Bashir's protests that anyone who married Worf was likely to end up dead. Kira sighed.

"I bet Captain Sisko never had to deal with things like this," Kira said in frustration. She turned on her heel and walked away, conveniently forgetting about Julian Bashir, still lying simpering on the floor.

Friday, December 28, 2001

Blog Wars II

"What is the situation?" Captain Janeway walked purposefully across the Bridge. Chakotay rose.

"We've been requested to mediate a conflict between Lori and Seema," Chakotay reported. He looked less wooden than usual, much to Janeway's relief. She smiled. Yesterday's, um, activities obviously had had a postive effect on the Commander and Janeway looked forward to exerting herself again tonight.

"What seems to be the problem?" Janeway settled into her chair.

"Apparently, there is a dispute regarding RealPerson fic," Chakotay said. "Sounds pretty serious."

"I agree. Mr. Paris, set a course."

"Seema?" Tom Paris turned away from the helm. "I think I've heard that name..."

"I know I've heard that name!" B'Elanna Torres said from her station. "And let me tell you, when Seema's around, things happen."

Janeway frowned. "I'm not sure I know what you're talking about, B'Elanna."

"I do," Tom said uncomfortably. "And not good things either. For instance, there was that holodeck program-"

"Tom!" B'Elanna exclaimed.

Harry Kim's eyes widened. "Is Seema one of those responsible for B'Elanna's, um, red dress?"

"I believe that it is the case," Tuvok said. "But I do believe you are overreacting to the situation. It is a simple mediation between two reasonable people."

"Easy for you to say," Tom retorted. "Were you caught with a holographic girlfriend?"

"And it wasn't your relationship with-" Harry stopped. "Well, for what it's worth, Tom, B'Elanna, I'm very happy you got married."

At that moment, Chakotay started to shift in his seat. Janeway glanced at him.

"Something on your mind, Commander?" she asked.

"Well," Chakotay hesitated. "I haven't been completely honest with you... there has been one other relationship."

"What, you found another blond bimbo, where?" Janeway asked increduously.

"Not a blond," Chakotay said uncomfortably.

"Chakotay," B'Elanna hissed. Tom spun around in his seat.

"Is there something you want to tell me?" he asked silkily.

"And then there's the little matter of those three," Chakotay said, quickly changing the subject and pointing to Tom, B'Elanna and Harry. "I believe there's more to that friendship than meets the eye. According to Seema, that is."

"Sounds like we might have a thing or two to discuss," Janeway said. "Warp One, Mr. Paris. And Chakotay? I want to see you in my Ready Room."

Fic Rec: In general, I'm not a big slash fan, but I very much enjoyed Voywriter's C/P fic, "Conclusions." This is how slash should be written - two strong men, both individuals, falling in love, and neither one diminished by the relationship. Very good read. Go, enjoy.

Voywriter's Page (scroll down to read the three parts of "Conclusions.")
Blog War?

Well, folks, Lori has gone and declared war on me! Me of all people! And she can carve ham! I can barely cut in a straight line with scissors (well, granted I am cutting with my right hand, so there's a valid excuse there). I don't know how a blog war should be fought. It's a very strange concept. Do we try diplomacy first? Do we accumulate a massive build-up of strange pairing fics and hurl them at each other? Do we get our other bloggy friends to step in and try to mediate? Do we impose sanctions on each other and restrict bandwidth?

I'd like to reiterate, in self-defense, that it was Lori who issued the RealPerson fic challenge. I have the zendom archives to prove it. So there.

This is all new to me, folks, so if you have ideas, by all means, drop me a note.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

I'm so incredibly happy to report that I worked on "Fugue" today. Granted, it's just a few paragraphs, but it's a start. I'm still trying to get the 'voice' right - the problem with going with a particular style (first person, present tense - only because all the 'good' writers said it couldn't be done, and I'm contrary and wanted to try it anyway) is that it's so hard to recapture the original voice of the story. But I figure if I sketch in from where I am to where I want part I to end, then I can go back and edit it enough to get the tone right. Worse comes to worse, I'll just edit from the beginning to bring everything back into line. I think the important thing is that I did go back to it and it was a little like dipping the toes into cold water. Hopefully next week, I'll be able to dive right back in completely, as soon as I get that other fic out of the way. I'm happy to report that after a marathon sesson, I'm about 85 percent complete my portion of that fic, so I feel really good about that. It's still very thin and I acknowledge, not my best effort, but if I get time this weekend, I'll flesh it out more.
I'm always amazed by what's available on the Internet. To wit, Haiku Movie Reviews. Perfect for those of us with an extraodinarily short attention span.
Every Death Alters Lives - news story worth reading.
The line to contribute to Seema's textbook fund starts over there. I just got the book list for this semester. If I'm lucky and can get every book used, my bill will be a measly $390.50. If I buy all new, then it will be $600.55. Not including the sales tax of 8.5 percent. Bleech.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Fun with Javascript

Or what I did on my winter vacation: Write Your Own Danielle Steel Novel. Yeah, it could be longer - but I lost interest in writing the story about mid-way through. Still, it was a fun enough experiment. Not sure that I can stomach making one of these for a lot of other people though - takes quite a while to get all of those " + input.form1.value +" and writelns to come out properly. Not to mention, that I accidentally added an extra semi-colon at one point, deleted another one, and made the horrible mistake of using " to denote speech, and since I'm not patient enough to wade through the darn stuff to find my missing punctuation, I deleted the code about five times and started all over again from scratch before getting it right.

And I wonder why writing isn't getting done...
And we're back...

I handed my memo to my boss this afternoon for his approval and he just stared at me and said, "What am I saying again and who am I saying it to?"

I rest my case.
A moment in the life of an executive minion

I find it faintly amusing to write memos for executives who:

  • Have never seen the information that's been written about in the first place
  • Who will not remember the information in the future
  • Whose secretaries read the darn memos and then file them in folder 13
  • Are confused when the questions start coming in
  • Have a lot of questions to begin with and confuse you when you understood in the first place what really was going on
  • Call a special meeting to discuss one paragraph in a three-paragraph memo and argue about the wording. Does 'is' really mean 'is'?
  • Don't care
  • Delete the email automatically by rule ("Is it from that Seema chick? Delete!")

I used to tack my name onto all memos I sent out, just from the principle of the matter. Call me if you have questions, don't call the Big Guys. But the recipients call the Big Guys anyway and then the Big Guys are confused over who sent out the memo in the first place ("What did I send out? I don't remember saying anything like that!"). I've found that the principle of the matter - ie sticking your name on something - is overrated. So I don't do that anymore; I just find the highest level management person who will accept responsibility and put hir name on the darn thing. It's made life less controversial for me.

Corporate America can really be amusing.

I'm also amused by the pretty flyers we put out. We're very good at flyers and I have produced a couple that I think should belong to the Flyer Hall of Fame (go ahead, call me arrogant, but I take the production of pretty flyers very seriously). Flyers, I've discovered, are a way of being "active" versus not - or rather, motion equates to action or progress or what have you. Which confuses me as to why we go through the expense in the first place. I get flyers and if it desn't have anything to do with what I do, then it goes in the trash. But as long as we're putting out flyers, we're doing something! (Yes, I'm putting out several flyers in January, so go ahead, call me a hypocrite - you know you want to). I find it very hard to believe that production numbers are at all affected by flyers or lack thereof, but that's just me.

Flyers, btw, are more fun than memos. Especially when memos are about billing cycles and additional charges to customers. Bleech.

Things that they never teach in B-school.
I forgot to mention: next article up for zendom is Jintian's article on Real Person Slash (RPS). Look for that article on January 8, I believe (Christine?)

Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Monday, December 24, 2001

Well, you can't keep a good muse down. Anyway, I've started the below story (when I really should be working on another story - but that's another tale for another time) and so far, well, it's been an interesting, interesting ride. I'm about halfway done, so when I finish it, I'll probably be able to judge it much better. But I've got an edgy B'Elanna in there as the narrator (inspired by Michele Masterson's "Contrition", give credit where it's due) and let me tell, she can be downright pugnacious if she wants to be. Anyway, I hope to finish it tonight (yes, it's that kind of writing day - and all the stores etc are closed anyway, so...). It's tentatively titled "Nel Curore Lei," but that could change.
My apologies to those who have heard this rant before...

I have an "itch" to do an "Endgame" coda. I admit, I'm probably one of the five people on the planet who did like "Endgame" to an extent - mostly for the P/T parts. C/7 doesn't irk me as much as it irks other people, as I never was a strong J/Cer to begin with (having not seen "Resolutions" and "Coda" until after "Endgame''), but what did irk me was the lack of build-up to the relationship. You can't just put two disparate personalities together after they didn't do so much as exchange a handshake or share an omelet and all of a sudden, it's like, "huh?" But that's neither here nor there, but it's relevant, as it has to do with my story.

The other thing that really irked me about "Endgame" was Janeway's motive for going back to change history. Why is Seven so dang important that she's the reason Janeway has to go back? Why not a couple months before when poor Carey came back only to be knocked off. I'm sorry, but Janeway is a much more reasonable and intelligent person than that - she's not going to go back for Seven, unless all of those J/7 writers were really onto something (which, btw, in the right hands - namely, Kelly's -, is a pairing I do enjoy).

I also didn't like the insinuation that Chakotay was never the same after Seven's death. What's that all about? Did he just do one of those fanficky things where he curled up on his bed and just never got up again? Irksome. Chakotay, mho, is not the type to wallow in self-pity. Sure, he can get depressed and yes, he's probably more introspective and feels more deeply than some of the other VOY characters, but it just sounded so... off to me.

Anyway, back to the story idea. The above points, mho, are my biggest nitpicks with the episode. They just didn't feel right. Not to mention, the ending was anticlimatic ("Look, kids, there's Earth!" - kudos to anyone who gets the reference). So, I think I've got to fix it. I've got to figure out why C/7 other than Biller's Marty Stu-ish fantasies and why Seven in general. And what the heck happened to Chakotay anyway? That's a whole mountain of regret Janeway - who, in general, has self-imposed martyrish tendencies - is carrying around - but in "Endgame," she's practically unhinged. Bleech. Not the way I want to remember the first (and probably only, thank goodness) female captain. She deserved much, much better than what TPTB did to her. And if this is how they write a "strong, capable" woman, then well, it's best we end up with Jonathon "John Wayne" Archer instead, right?

Okay, so maybe I didn't like "Endgame" that much. The P/T parts were good though.

Saturday, December 22, 2001

If you read Lori's blog, you'll see that she refuses to accept responsibility for the realpeople fic. Okay, so maybe she isn' t 100 percent responsible - more like 98 percent. Enabler. So there.

And the R/C fic? Okay, I'll take the blame, but only because I want to see that fic very, very badly. Not to mention the "Pretty Woman" fic.
While I have my soapbox out...

Actually, not so much a soapbox talk, but more of a continuation from below. I was just thinking about online friends and how you have them and how they eventually become very real people to you - and of course, telling people you know in RL about your virtual life friends, that's just funky business.

I remember that either on Sept. 11 or Sept. 12, I got online to look for Liz. I thought she'd want to talk, but I got Cheile instead - who was absolutely distraught; one of her online friends had been killed in the WTC and she was having a really hard time dealing with it. And she said she wouldn't even bother explaining to RL people about this - they wouldn't understand. In the end, Che found out that her friend had actually faked her death (how horrible is that??), but what Che was going through those first few days were very real emotions, not at all "virtual."

So I've been thinking about that - mainly, how online friends become real people to you and how you start caring about them, their families. You get their emails on a regular basis and usually, they have something fun to share with you. Depending on how close you get, sometimes the letters and conversations can be intensely personal. I know Liz and I - in the four years we've been friends - have had some intense conversations. There's just something so comforting about having a friend who isn't part of your regular routine, whom you can tell things to and not worry about the information getting somewhere "out there" for the rest of the world to know. And in some cases, the two worlds do collide. For instance, I met up with on epal in Boston last spring and introduced her to three of my closest friends - of course, I was quiet about how we actually met (ASC), but my friends are smart - they probably figured out the Trek connection pretty quick ::grin::. I've included Liz in AIM conversations with one of my good friends from college - they seem to get along just fine, good thing ::grin::. After all, they both have to put up with me, right?

Anyway, you can't explain these kinds of friends to RL people. It just doesn't work. The concept of a virtual life and virtual friends is so foreign - they don't understand that there is substance to some of these relationships. After all, it is true that a friend can just abruptly stop emailing and that's the end of it. But in truth, most of my relationships are not like that. I get notes from friends saying that they are sick but they still managed to get to the computer to let me know they are okay. They tell me about when they are going to be out on vacation, or when things have gotten too hectic to sit down and write. And I do the same, because I know I miss them when they have gone "missing" for some time and I'd like to think that they miss me too.

Friday, December 21, 2001


I've come to the conclusion that the X-Files without Duchovney doesn't work for me. Not at all. I think it's the fact that I've only seen 2 eps so far, with 3 on tape, and I have no desire to watch them. Not that I don't like Doggett - I'm probably one of the five people left who does like Doggett, but it was the Mulder/Scully relationship that I enjoyed - or lack of or speculation thereof - so without Mulder, it's just not the same show. ::sniff:: So I feel the need to find a good MSR that I can sink my teeth into; the last one I tried wasn't quite what I needed - not on the same scope as say "Dance Without Sleeping" or "Iolokus." So I guess what I'm looking for is another fic like that. Unfortunately, without Chronicle X to steer me in the right direction, I may have to grit my teeth and head to the NGs to see what's good and what's not.

Have I mentioned that I love rec sites?

Everyone has a Livejournal these days. It's so strange - I wondered if I started at a random journal (in this case, Sio's - link on the left), would I end back here? So I clicked on Sio's friends and about 9 clicks later, voila, I was back at Christine's journal, which leads right back here. Interesting, huh? And most of these people, I believe, are fanfic writers (from what I could glean from their journals) so it probably means that fandom isn't quite as big as everyone thinks it is - which means we all know each other as we drift from fandom to fandom. Or if we're not writing in those fandoms, then we're reading in them and occasionally ::gulp:: doing the FB thing.

The other thing I came across was the discussion of cliques. Honestly, I have no idea what an online clique looks like or acts like. Yeah, there were cliques in high school, but when you're a flakey artistic athlete, cliques don't apply to you - you're kind of like the Visa card of the high school, accepted everywhere. But anyway, reading lots of discussion about cliques and private lists and I never really thought about it before. Yes, I can tell when X is friends with Y - you get the from reading author's notes or looking at their link list. They pop-up on mailing lists together, bring their friends with them, and then there are in the in-jokes and references to things that happened in other fandoms. And there are other people who are friends, but you'd never guess it from the way they behave online in "front" of other people - and then one day, it's like, "Oh, so they *hang out* together!" If you could actually "hang out" on the Internet. but that's a topic for another day.

Anyway, so it's a strange thing - this online friend thing. I've got several very good online friends - some of whom I've mentioned here, some of whom I haven't. Not all of them belong to fandom (one I met through our mutual love of ice-skating and good, short fiction) and others are FBers who didn't know what they were getting into when they wrote to me. In one case, it was me giving the pages of FB and then voila. But it's funny how you become online friends - sometimes you click, sometimes you don't. Sometimes it's a one email stand, other times you've got pages and pages of emails. It's gotten to a point when I know when I download my email who the email is from - without even looking at the name. I know X usually writes around this time and that Y takes about two or three days to respond. Z usually writes on the weekends and so on so forth.

Anyway, back to this online clique thing. Could it be a perceived thing? I mean, who decides who is in a clique and who is not? And then how do you decide who the popular online people are? And why is this even an issue? I'm only asking because people talk about it in their online journals as if it were an issue. The great thing about online - virtual living - is that you can become friends with anyone you want to - well, for the most part. Sometimes, it takes a really long time; it's not like you can say, "Hey, you're cool, let's go get a cup of coffee."

I don't think I'm in a clique. I admit, there are certain people I "run around with" (identities concealed for their protection, but the guilty parties know who they are). I hope I'm not clique-y. I avoided that when I was in high school - which is probably why I'm fairly well-balanced and only slightly bitter about high school (which has nothing to do with cliques). And it is fun to have friends in fandom, I admit that. They give you the support you need, the encouragement, the betas, and the ideas. They make you laugh and they make it worthwhile to stick around. I didn't really strike up a friendship with anyone in "Gladiator" and maybe if I had, I would still be there (the slashy direction of the fandom notwithstanding), the sole Lucilla/Maximus writer out there. But it might have been fun - with friends. But I don't really miss "Gladiator" - it was one of those things that came and went like that.

My Trek friends are a lot of fun. They all have different aspects and know different things - and so maybe I do FB their stories more. Maybe I do recommend their stories more than I recommend others - on private mailing lists, in my links list. They may do the same for me. So that could be clique-y, who knows?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes, it is possible to make good friends in fandom and it's hard to be in a fandom when everyone else already has a friend or two; but give it time, and soon you'll find yourself in good company. Then you too can muse about cliques and popular people and what it means in an online context. I certainly have no answers, no, other than that I'm having a great time and I hope that 2002 is as fun as 2001 was.

And another thing... if you're the host of the party and you tell the guests exactly what to bring, right down to the recipe and the brand of ingredients to use, it's so not cool to disparage the end product to the other guests.
Sometimes, I really wonder what I'm doing. It's like all of a sudden, you wake up at this strange party and wonder, "How did I get here?" and more importantly, "How do I leave?" It's the leaving that's the hard part, because you don't want to insult the host and you certainly don't want to never get invited back. So you've got to come up with a good excuse. "Oh my dog needs to be walked" or "I've got a headache, dear, and it's so bad, I think I'm going to explode, but I really did want to see you tonight. You look fabulous." I'm leaning towards the latter since I don't own a dog.

In other news, cedar fever has struck. Four allergy free months and I spend two weeks in my old stomping grounds and whomp, there it is. For those who are not familiar with cedar fever, it's this horrible, horrible allergy which afflicts 99 percent of the population here to varying degrees, thanks to the proliferation of cedar trees, which out-number human beings 20 to 1 here. I came out of the office yesterday to find my car covered in the lovely yellow stuff. Yes, love is the air for the cedars, but I'm hoping it will be a swift courtship so that my nasal passages and throat return to normal.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Telemarketers are officially getting on my nerves. I rarely get telemarketing calls in my new place, but now that I'm here, oh my God - the phone rings every 30 seconds and I've just about stopped running to get the phone. The other night, the phone rang. I picked it up. Here's the actual transcript of the conversation:

Telemarketer: Is Mrs. K--- there?
Me: May I tell her who is calling?
Telemarketer: No. ::click::

The other night the Lions Club called. They wanted to know if I could sponsor a small/medium/large family for Christmas dinner. A small family, btw, is four people. I said I couldn't afford it this year, but would be willing to volunteer time instead. ::click::. The Missing Children's Organization also wanted money, but no volunteers. Just now, the Opinion Poll people called and started with the, "Are you a registered voter...?" and finally, I asked, "Is this going to take a long time?" She said yes and I mentioned that we were in the middle of dinner. The woman kept asking questions! Apparently, telemarketers also call on Sundays these days. Honestly.

It's enough to make one disconnect phone service all together and go directly to cell phone usage.
Against my better judgement: The Poolboy Diaries. Silly romp again, this time dragging Jemima into the mix, poking fun at a TPTB or two, and generally being disrespectful to certain things. Characterization not at all on point. The bronze ducks are cute though (really).
Believe it or not... my music personality is a Sarah Brightman match. Glad to know we're a match - considering I own all of her CDs. ::beg::

Sarah Brightman is my personality match! click here to find out who yours is!

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

The amazing, wonderful Liz has finished her beta of "Fugue in Blue Minor." At 77k, this girl is nothing if not thorough. Plus, she makes me laugh at my own mistakes, not to mention, she usually has a running commentary throughout the whole thing, which usually has me on the floor for reason or another. Anyway, now that I have her comments, I have no excuse, none, not to work on this fic on Friday. Except for the matter of that other fic... well, time enough for both. Provided no more Poolboy diaries show up to distract me.

Who invited all of these tacky people?

Fran bought some napkins back in August for an ice-cream social she had planned for my going away party and the napkins read, "Who invited all of these tacky people?" Anyway, we never did have the ice-cream social - it was sweet of her to plan, but we ended up having a happy hour at Bahama Breeze for my going away party. Anyway, so Fran still has these napkins and she gives them away when she thinks someone is being tacky. Luckily, I've been away since August - but yes, I did earn one before leaving. I don't recall what I said or did, but I'm sure it was very tacky. Anyway, everyone in our unit has at least one tacky napkin - some have several.

Today, I earned another one. Sort of. It started with Deborah and me going back and forth over whether something made sense or not. She said that if I understood it, then anyone could. I said that was tacky, so Fran let me "award" Deborah a napkin. Of course, then there was this little conversation:

Deborah: I've missed you!
Me: Wish I could say that same about you!

Which meant that Kim nominated me for tackiness as well. So then I had two napkins. I mentioned to Fran that it's a good thing I've been away, otherwise I'd probably have about 30 or 40 tacky napkins by now. Then Kim said, "That's for sure." Tacky! So I ended giving my tacky napkin to Kim - which makes my total back down to one napkin and Kim's to four. Still, I'm proud of the fact that I've been back for six days before I was awarded a tacky napkin.
2001 in Review

I wrote a blog about how I thought 2001 would be the year of retirement and how it wasn't since I wrote many, many fics this year, but that post got eaten. So here's another attempt at it. It's been a very interesting fanfic year, one with more experimentation than I've done before, which resulted in some fics which alternately scared me or amazed me (can you say that about your own writing?). This year's fic Included some very strange ones, some ventures into new fandoms, and some silly ones. Unlike 2000 though, 2001 was not the year of the angst bunny. It was more the year of the potpurri. Which, I think, I like better. Angst is hard. Takes time to write. Makes you tired. This was easier - when I got tired of angst, I did something else. Anyway, I listed out all of the 2001 fics, just for fun. Here they are. BTW, these are only the posted fics, not the ones which are still lingering on my hard drive for insecurity reasons.

  • Among Bluebonnets (VOY)
  • All Things (DS9)
  • A Case of Need (VOY)
  • Beneath a Sky of a Thousand Stars (VOY)
  • A Dream of Rain (Gladiator)
  • Erosion (VOY)
  • The Fall of Shadows (VOY, VVS8)
  • The Fight (VOY)
  • The Final Straw (VOY)
  • A Fine White Mist (Gladiator)
  • How to Succeed in Hard Times... (VOY)
  • Intimate Expression (VOY)
  • Irrational (ENT)
  • A Map of You (VOY)
  • Nice Work (TNG/VOY)
  • Not That Kind (VOY)
  • Oxygen (VOY)
  • Poolboy Diaries (TNG, VOY, Zendom)
  • Retrospect (VOY, VVS8)
  • Sometimes the Heart (Gladiator)
  • Southern Fried Paris (VOY)
  • What Is (X-Files)
  • When on Risa... (DS9)

Scary, isn't it? Most of these stories can be found on my fanfic page. The "Poolboy Diaries" are not yet available - not sure if they will be available for public viewing at this point, but we'll see.

Fics in Progress: I've been working a little on "Interlude," which is the sequel to "Fugue." Yeah, I know. Work on everything *but* the bridging stories. "Stay" is almost ready for primetime. The C/T fic is still being worked on, but should be ready for primetime sometime before June. Just got the beta on "Unexpected" back from Liz, so I'll probably resume that soon. I get the feeling that 2002 will be an ecclectic year for fanfic. Though, I'm happy to report - no new fandoms on the horizon. ENT just hasn't grabbed me at all to write for it - though I do have a fragment of something on my hard drive that could be a companion to "Irrational" from Trip's POV. We'll see if I actually do anything with it. I think my first plan of action should be to finish "Fugue."

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

"The Poolboy Diaries I" is done. Talk about very weird but very, very fun. Jemima asked if it was zen to write fic about fanfic? I don't know, but this has been very fun writing recently after all the heavy duty gut-wrenching stuff I seem to be writing lately. Plus, it's fun to be silly, not at all serious, and to poke fun at various little things in fandom. I've said it before - I'm easily, easily amused by little things. So there will probably be more "Poolboy Diaries" in the future. I blame Lori.
Spam mail expected to increase in 2002. I knew there was a reason I got out of bed this morning.

Monday, December 17, 2001

I'm procrastinating again. It's *that* fic I won't go near. I know I have to and sooner, not later. I have to say that my procrastination efforts were generally good today - worked on that C/T fic and dang it, I'm starting to really like it. I didn't think I would like it ever, but as I look at it, I'm thinking there is some good stuff in there and it's not as scary as I thought it was. It's hard to say what I'm going to do with it when it's finished - post it to ASCEML, maybe? It probably won't scare them as much as it scares me.

I finished up a second draft for my zendom article, complete with pilfered examples from fic across the 'net. I've already made most of the corrections to "Stay" that I'm going to make at this point so I can't even use that fic for procrastination. I'm aiming to post it sometime next week, depending on where I am and what I'm doing. I haven't looked at "Fugue" yet, despite my best intentions - and if I could just get myself going, I'm only a few paragraphs from the end of part I (paging Liz! Liz, help!) at this point. I'm not sure what the hold-up is or why I'm dragging my feet so much. I did have this same problem towards the end of "Lines in the Sand," but that was an 800k monster and "Fugue in Blue Minor" is really a baby compared to that.

But none of this is related to the fic that I have to write, that I'm putting off, and that I really have no excuse to put off. I might do a little bit tonight just to assuage my guilt. Sometimes, it takes just getting into - getting started is the hardest part.

I just got an idea for a J/K story... oh my. The weird, scary stuff continues.
The News According to Seema

The Feedback Now! movement.

Saturday, December 15, 2001


(credits to Cheile, who posted this to JEW-EL)

**BULLETIN - Missing Muses**

Description: One DS9, One VOY. The latter has been
known to cast herself in the look of Kathryn Janeway
or B'Elanna Torres upon whim. The former can
reportedly shapeshift into a cuddly rabbit form and is
known by the alias "Angst Bunny".

Last Known Location: Quark's Bar, Deep Space Nine,
Bajor Sector.

Please return to Seema and Cheile.

REWARD!! First new stories produced by the owners on
behalf of the wayward criminals will be dedicated in
your name.

Other notes: Return alive only, please. Dead muses
are useless.
Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present, the Lori fic! I've archived How an Ensign Became a Poolboy temporarily at my Geocities site for your reading (dis)pleasure. Now, I'm off to look for a lawyer....

Friday, December 14, 2001

My muse has taken off into strange and scary directions and I'm balking at going with her. I think I've officially scared people with some of the things I've produced recently and I'm not sure the reason why. This isn't just angst anymore, folks, it's something else, and I'm actually quite disturbed by the phenomenon. I'm hoping it's a momentary fad and will slip away. In the meantime, I did some more work on "Stay" and brought some parts into line with "Pathways" as well as added some things to the ending which I think will help round out the story a bit. Again, this story is still not 'complete' and I'm probably on draft number 80 at this point. I'm shooting to have it all done next week.

I did manage to pull it together today to get the Lori fic done. It's called "How an Ensign Became a Poolboy" and it's disturbing for other reasons. I have a couple more edits to do to it before getting it ready for primetime, but in general, it's got to be the silliest thing I've written in a long time. And note, silly is not scary.

I'm wondering if the muse is tired or if she is simply overwhelmed by the below "push comes to shove" deal. In one way, I love working with other people to generate ideas and write it up together, but on the other hand, I also have a very set way of how I do things and how I want things to be done. yes, sometimes, I can be a type A personality. As a coworker said one day, I can be really laid back about where 800 computers could be, but when it comes to making sure everyone has an equal share of candy, whoa, watch out. So I still haven't made a decision whether to stay or go.

I got some lovely, lovely FB for "All Things" from someone whose writing I greatly respect and admire. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I honestly did not think this story would get noticed at all and the fact that someone did enjoy it, did see it for what it really was, means so much for me. Definitely another note to add to the "Read when you're feeling down" pile (anyone else have this?).

I mentioned to zendom today, it's not the FB that matters to me anymore, but rather am I writing what I need to write? What I want to write? Whether there's an audience or not, well, I've got to write what I want to write, right? I think that's why this whole "push comes to shove" is really bothering me. I can pervert my own sense of what I want to write only so many times before it starts to bother me. I can probably get something out based on a pairing or an idea, but it's not going to be the best quality necessarily and as the C/T fic proved, it can be downright scary.

That's not to say I don't appreciate FB. I do. I love it. I crave it. I want it. I'm immensely gratified that people take time to read and write, sometimes wonderful indepth FB, sometimes simple little notes. All of equal value. However, as Lori pointed out, FB is getting scarce these days. So it really comes down to writing for yourself, not for the FB. If you're writing for the FB, I think it could get disappointing. There's a black hole some stories disappear into and that's just the way things are. Can't explain it, can't understand it, but that's how it can be.

Anyway, I've made a resolution to FB at least three stories a week. When times are tough, that might be a tall order, but for right now, I think it's realistic enough. And believe me - it's purely selfish. I just sent off long and detailed FB to an author whose works I adore; hopefully she will write some more? Hey, you never know...

It's time to let the muse rest. Perhaps with rest... good night, moon.
Here's the big question in my mind right now: when is enough enough? I mean, really. When push comes to shove, what do you do? Do you push back and say, no, I'm not going to do this because I don't believe in it, or do you honor your committment and stick around and do the best possible job you can? I've had this situation so many times, but most of the time when you're dealing with executives, there is no push back, none. It's do this or you don't have a job. But this is something else, completely voluntary, and I'm really, really torn. I hate backing out of committments, but if things keep going like they are and I find myself in a situation that will cause me more stress - and honestly, I do not need stress - then yeah, it's time to go, regardless.
Whenever you develop a deep emotional attachment to a story for whatever reason, it's so hard to post it and let others look at it. It's so like that "stories are like children" thing Christine was talking about the other day. So I finally did it. "All Things" is out there in the great cyberland and I feel, well, I don't know I feel. I finished this story back in March and it never feels quite right to me, and I keep tinkering. Changing a word here, changing a phrase there. It's one of those stories, in my mind, which will never be complete. But I still adore it - is it wrong for an author to love a story so much? I know that this will not be a popular story, not at all. It will probably join all my other DS9 stories in the Great Unread Beyond, but it's a story I wanted to write and now that it's out there, no longer on my hard drive, I feel a little lonely.

Part of is the sadness is that other than my Kira story, "Blink," I have no more DS9 stories on my hard drive. Nor do I have any ideas. It was one thing to crossover to Voyager while I was still firmly entrenched in DS9, but now, I only have Voyager stories in my head and the DS9 stories are far and few between... well, now it truly feels wrong and like a betrayal. Kind of like, "Honey, I've been seeing another fandom..."

Maybe what I need to do is write that Lori fic.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Apparently, the RL Seema is more interesting than this blog, which is a relief. I even have a cool graphic to prove it:

Here's the result:

It doesn't necessarily mean that your weblog is boring. You just enjoy talking a lot more than writing. You have a busy social life because your friends love having you around. They just can't get enough of you. You might be wishing that you could spend more time online, but you really shouldn't. You're already right where you belong.

Well... that might be a bit of an overstatement, but let's go with it, okay?

Happiness is...

Well, Rocky has been trying to get me to read the classic J/C fics forever now and I keep saying, "One of these days, one of these days..." Well, one of these days came yesterday when I stumbled onto Michele Masterson's fanfic. Can you hear the sigh of contentment? I've only read two of the stories so far, "The Instant Made Eternity" and "Contrition," but I can't wait to go home and finish off the rest (this working 9 to 5 thing, or rather, 7:30 to 4:30 thing) of Michele's website. "Contrition" is my favorite of the two - and not just because of the P/T moments ;-). Anyway, I can't really adequately describe these stories except as "wonderful and must read." So what are you waiting for? ;-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

The challenges keep coming. A good thing, because an idle writer is a... well, I don't know, but I'd rather not find out ::g:: Anyway, this latest challenge is from zendom, more specifically, Lori again. This time I get to kill two birds with one stone in one fic. Both challenges are quite amusing, but I think saying what they are would give away the entire plot. I'll say this much - Picard loses a kidney in the process.
Julius Caeser blogs. Pretty good thing, because it cut off my rant about consumerism, Christmas music, and crazy people in shopping centers.

Note to self: For sanity reasons, hibernate through December 26.
I've been looking at my C/T fic and it's irking me because it's gone schizophrenic on me. I described it to Liz last night - half of it sounds like something I would have written four years ago, and the other half sounds like... something else. I'm thinking of ditching the plot entirely - since that's what sounds so incredibly pedantic - and just leave the other stuff in there. I've got to think about it a little more. It could be that I've been working the bunny too hard and that's where the weird mood shifts came from, not to mention uneven characterizations. Chakotay, for once, is okay, but Janeway... well, even I don't recognize her and I think a minimum requirement to write fanfic is for the author to recognize who the characters actually are, right? Plus, I'm not fond of the cool, repressed Janeway. And then, in the midst of all of this stuff, there is some happy fluff stuff dealing with Miral - which contributes nothing to the plot. So there, I've talked myself into it. The plot has got to go. I feel better already.

And Onslow has a new home, thanks to Gordon. I love the pretty colors.
Jerry Springer - scary stuff. This is what happens when you have free time and it's raining outside, so you turn on the television. That Springer cam? Oh my - talk about unnecessary. They just videotaped...::shudder:: I can't even think about it, it's so... well, I hope it's staged, because otherwise it's very disturbing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Okay, I'm doing my best to avoid the Art Test, even though all the cool kids are doing it. So I decided instead to figure out if I was normal or weird. Now, this is a purely subjective question. My brother thinks I'm weird. Actually, he thinks I'm spacey as well as weird. So I was really happy to find a purely logical measurement online, based in scientific theory. Here are the results: my score is 9. And my assessment is as follows:

Well, you've heard the call of the strange out there, roaming the plains of life. You haven't answered, but at least you didn't assume it was indigestion. This level of score indicates a person who is probably more normal, to be fair, than someone who got 0. If you only got 1 or 2, be *very* careful - it's all downhill from here!

So there! Those of you who are interested, test your weirdness quotient here.

Now off to write that fic I promised Lori...(talk about weird...)
Lori's review of "Talking Stick/Circle" is now available at the zendom website. Go see what she has to say about this classic Voyager tale. In two weeks, Zendom walks through the intricacies of writing smut.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Muse II

I've been going through my old files, some of which were from pre-computer crash. There are some good starts in there, some forgettable starts, including "Demons" - which I finished in 1999, but will probably never, ever see the light of day (Liz and I are in agreement on this one - "Demons" is my Waterloo). I also found the beginnings to a coda for "Breaking the Ice" called "A Change in Color." This one is told from Trip's POV and I can't really remember what I was thinking/doing when I began that. I had thought that that story was titled "Tentative", but apparently, that was just a delusion and it has another title entirely. The Jake story, "All Things," looks really good to me right now, and it's amazing how putting things away for a while will make you feel either a) more kindly to a story or b) hate it even more. Right now, to answer Christine's question, this would have to be among my favorite fics right now. I also found the missing "Drive" scenes, which will come in handy once I began the novelization of that - whenever that happens. I'm also feeding the angst bunny lots of leafy green vegetables in the hope of enticing her to angst a little more, at least for another few paragraphs so I can get Part I of "Fugue" out of the way. Oh, and I owe Lori that real person fic I promised, not to mention owing Tracy that birthday story. Liz, I probably owe her about 80 different stories as well. ::sigh::

So many projects, so much time... please, don't hold me back :-)

Sunday, December 09, 2001

Well, I'm throwing away the discipline pills for the next 5 weeks! Finally, I'm getting back to some of those unfinished pieces or pieces which have been in need of editing for quite some time.

It's finally time to end Harry's agony - though in all fairness, I've been quite nice to him and who knows, he might even get a girl at the end of it all, to make the suffering worthwhile. I've also started a C/T, J/C, P/T fic that borders on the maudlin and it's not the type of fic I usually like to write, but it *insisted* on being written and I've learned my lesson - never, ever contradict the muse. Ever.

I'm still debating what to do with my Jake story. I'm very fond of it and in some ways, I'm thinking it would be a good entry for SNW, but at the same time - it's not a plot-driven story, but rather a character story and there are no explosions, no fights, and only one Cardassian - and he doesn't get to talk. I sense TPTB would hate it. So we'll see. The Kira story is also along the same lines - but it's more dialogue and I think the ending is sharper, more defining to Kira as a person than the ending to the Jake story is. In a way, I care so much about these two stories that I'm not sure I want to send them into SNW.
Movie rec: "Ocean's Eleven." Go see this one. It's clever, cool, just very fun, and has a great script. Brad Pitt is adorable (and this is coming from me - I rarely find Brad Pitt adorable), George Clooney has just the right amount of charm, and Matt Damon's character in this flick has finally erased the horror that was "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (though at one point, Damon's character was wearing glasses almost exactly like the ones he wore as Tom Ripley and that was freaky). Julia Roberts (who was, btw, listed in the credits as "Introducing Julia Roberts as Tess," lol) also makes an appearance, but she isn't quite as radiant as she usually is and rather looks like she has been smushed during the whole film. But thanks to the strength of the script and the talents of the all-star cast, this is a very good comedy with just the right amount of cunning and intellect mixed together.

Basically, Clooney's character - Daniel Ocean - has just gotten out of jail and is planning a heist of the Vegas' casinos. It's the biggest caper ever and no one has yet succeeded in doing this. So he enlists Brad Pitt's help as well as the help of Elliot Gould (who is a hoot, btw). At the same time, Danny's ex-wife, Tess, has taken up with the casino owner of the casino Danny intends to knock over. Coincidence? I don't think so. So Danny rounds up a gang of eleven to help carry out the nefarious plot, and whether he succeeds or not, well, I can't tell you that now, can I?

Anyway, this movie is nothing but delicious fun. Telling you more would spoil the film, but think of it as a very slick "Mission:Impossible" with lots of charm.

Saturday, December 08, 2001

With apologies to Dr. Seuss...

I do not like accounting, Sam I am
I will not do it in a moat
I will not compute with a goat
I do not like accounting, Sam I am.

So there...

Friday, December 07, 2001

I'm not even thinking about the accounting exam anymore. I'm way, way passed that. I was in the lounge reviewing today and Garrett came in, loudly, I might add, and he' was talking about being excited about the cohort dinner tomorrow night. And non-Southern girl I am (not to mention, the arranger of the little shindig), I said, "Garrett, no, no, it's lunch, don't show up for dinner. We'll all be at the happy hour." Garrett said he knew that dinner was at 1, and so we got into this thing, where I insisted it was lunch, and he said it was dinner; finally Andrew said, it's dinner. Okay, so dinner, lunch - same thing in down South vocabulary, but confusing to me. But back to Garrett - he's already moved past the little issue of 8 to 1. He's already moved past depreciation, discounted cash flows, net present value, COGs, and PE ratios - he's already at the good stuff. I like the way the kid thinks.

Anyway, the bill for next semester just showed up in my inbox. So, time to go on the Ramen noodle diet for a while I scrounge up the cash. Though the last time I mentioned Ramen noodles, my RL fellow grad friends were aghast and Katie, who has been doing this longer than I have, was simply horrified by the *idea* of eating Ramen. But you know, at 24 packages for a $1, you can't really get a better deal.

I wrote the nonlinear curve fitting professor today to tell him I wasn't an idiot, and yes, I did pay attention in class, and no, there isn't a really good reason why I missed the easiest problem on the exam other than I didn't like the numbers I came up doing it the correctly, so I made up something else. I then told him that was yet another thing I learned from him: trusting your gut under pressure. He laughed, thought it was funny, and told me I was a pleasure to have in class. I think all teachers say that. I mean, would they really come out and say, "You were really annoying because you asked stupid questions all the time or you looked zoned or you never did your homework?" Maybe to your parents, but not at this level, not at all. So, I think teachers just say that - it's the equivalent of ending FB with "Thanks for sharing." A polite way to end the conversation, a nice signal to say, "I'm moving on, maybe you should too."

I really can't wait for dinner tomorrow at 1.
This and That...

Mainak and I got shushed by the Library Police (tm) last night. Apparently, we got too excited over depreciation and other people couldn't study. We got a whole long lecture about being quiet from this undergrad. He obviously does not understand the joys of free cash flow or double-declining balance. The pity.

Mainak also told me that the answers I had gotten for the nonlinear curve fitting on the exam were correct. Which would be good news, if I hadn't doubted myself and gone and changed them to something less than correct. Moral lesson of the day: go with the gut when under pressure.

Weird conversation I had with Liz yesterday afternoon:

Liz: Are you ready for the exam?
Seema: No, I'm not ready to colonize Mars yet
Liz: Well, then just focus on the moon.

Thankfully, the rest of the conversation - all 13 minutes of it - was less weird and more normal than that.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

I ran my name through Kabalarians and it came back scarily accurate. Yikes!

Your name of Seema gives you a very idealistic but passive outlook on life. You desire culture and all the refinements of life but you are inclined to live in your dreams. Although you would like to do many things, procrastination undermines your accomplishment and success in life. You do not like to create issues and will do anything to avoid a conflict. Making decisions is difficult for you without the support and approval of others. This name gives you a very sensitive nature, making you feel much that you do not understand. Your feelings are easily hurt, at which times you are inclined to withdraw and become uncommunicative. Although you desire the friendship and association of others, you find it difficult to express your thoughts through the spoken word, and others find you hard to get to know. It is much more natural for you to express your deeper thoughts in writing. Inner tension can deplete your physical vitality. You are inclined to indulge in rich foods that lack proper nourishment. The physical weaknesses due to this name centre in the heart and respiratory organs, and in the fluid functions.
Happiness is... finding the most adorable picture of RDM today. Check out the news page. Now that's just precious, really, really, well, adorable. I think it might be a keeper. I'm not shallow or anything, no, not at all.
While I'm on this lyric thing:

Here is one of my all-time favorite songs. Ladies and gents, I present to you, Sir Elton.



Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
Available on the album Made In England


We've been crippled in love, short changed, hung out to dry
We've chalked on the walls a slogan or two about life
Stood dazed in the doorway, the king and queen of clowns
We've been flipped like a coin, both of us landing face-down

So please, please, let me grow old with you
After everything we've been through, what's left to prove
so please, please, please, oh please let me grow old with you

We've been living with sorrow, been up, down and all around
We've buried our feelings a little too deep in the ground
Stood dazed in the doorway, the king and queen of clowns
We've been flipped like a coin, both of us landing face-down

But tied to the same track, the two of us look back
At oncoming trains ahead
How many more times can we lay on the line
Watching our love hang by a thread
What I'm Listening To

This song feels strangely appropos:


Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
Available on the album Made In England


Deep inside my soul fights a war
I can't explain, I can't cross over any more
All I see are dirty faces
Rain and wire, and common sense in pieces
But I try to see through Irish eyes

Look outside, summer's lost and gone
It's a long walk on a street of right and wrong
In every inch of sadness
Rocks and tanks go hand in hand with madness
But I never saw a braver place

And it's sad when they sing, and hollow ears listen
Of smoking black roses, on the streets of Belfast
And so say your lovers from under the flowers
Every foot of this world needs an inch of Belfast

Who's to say on whom heaven smiles
Our different ways we try hard to recognise
No more enchanted evenings
The pubs are closed and all the ghosts are leaving
But you'll never let them shut you down

The enemy is not at home
A jealous green streaks down this faulty diamond
No bloody boots or crucifix
Can ever hope to split this emerald island
But I never saw a braver face
Brannon Braga has an official website and a (gasp!) photo gallery (why????). I'm surprised he acknowledges that Janeway exists.

Wow. Snarky.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Santa and I had a talk today. It was the office party and in a quiet moment, between kids and sittings, Santa asked if I wanted a picture.

It's been years since Santa and I have talked and so I said sure. I'm a big girl, but boy, it felt good to sit in Santa's lap. Even if I did know who he really was.

Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said stupidly, "World peace."

And he asked, "What else?" And I couldn't think of anything at all other than "world peace."

Anyway, we talked a little bit and he said finally, "Okay, if you insist, world peace."

I had to smile. And then he said, "But it doesn't seem very likely right now, does it?"

"No," I said. "It doesn't. Things get worse every day."

"How about peace in the heart?" he asked. "You can do that, can't you?"

I nodded. And Santa went on, "You won't get anywhere without peace in the heart."

His comment reminded me of something my mother once said, that she thought I should go to one of those ashrams where you are alone and quite for a week. She said maybe the peace would be good for me. I still think about that quiet place on occasion and whether it's still there and whether I should go.

Anyway, I can't disagree with Santa. He's got a point.

So that's what I want for Christmas this year. Peace of the heart.

Monday, December 03, 2001

Procrastination has reached new heights. I'm baking, baking! Though, in all fairness, tomorrow is the office Christmas party. So, I'm baking. Yes, the exam from hell is at 8:30 tomorrow morning and I'm baking. *sigh* Sometime this week, I'll need to bake for my classmates as well - I already bought the tissue paper, ribbons, cards and candy canes, so it's just a question of baking the cookies and wrapping them all up before Saturday's final.

In other news, my car is home! Finally! After 14 days in the shop, my car is here and it's beautiful! Kudos to the body shop! Of course, it helps to work for the same company which is paying for your car repairs and rental car, as the body shop and Enterprise were both very anxious that I had been treated well and did I have any complaints? I told them no, not at all, and I could tell they were relieved. I don't think they realized that I had to call to the same 1-800 number as all the other claimants to take care of my bills, but I do have to say, I would have used connections if things had not gone well with the repairs.

Sunday, December 02, 2001

Fic Rec: Transcendence by Christine CGB. Now this is a gorgeous Donna character study with some really awesome "you go girl!" moments, not to mention there are times when you feel a fleeting sadness for Donna as well. Donna is characterized extremely well and not only do you get more insight into her life, but also how Josh thinks of her. Add this to the "must read" list for "West Wing."
I have not one, but two, solutions to the currency LP. Sometimes, I just frighten myself, really I do. I've got the linearized version - the one that makes the most sense to me and I could explain very quickly if you stopped me in a dark alley. The logrithmic one makes pseudosense to me - fuzzy numbers at work again - and I wouldn't bet money that I could explain it in a way you could understand or that I could even understand. Unfortunately, the second one is the optimal solution, but I talked to other people and most are going with either the linear or the nonlinear version, depending on which solution they hit on first. Now my biggest issue is how to derive the s-curve before Tuesday. I've done it once, but that was under optimal conditions; I'm thinking this is something that will take up valuable space on my cheat sheet.

I really hope no one stops me in a dark alley and asks me a) to explain the nonlinear version of the LP or b) how to derive an s-curve.
Current pet peeve:

I updated my virus scan as commanded by the Great Gods at McAfee. Unfortunately, now I have one of those lovely, cryptic .dll errors anytime I go in to run a scan, ie my scan software is dead. So I go over to McAfee's site to find out what happened - obviously, they killed my software and I want them to fix. Well, I got caught in this endless loop of "click here for customer support" and "click here for technical support" or "Go here to have your questions answered." Anyway, I spent 30 valuable minutes on this problem and have now decided to uninstall the software and try it again. I'm not yet ready to cough up money to find out what happened to the software. Especially for a software package which cost less than $20 and it might be worth my while to even go and buy another copy than to spend time running around in circles trying to figure out what vs34398.dll error actually means.

Here's how I compute it:

  • Go to Best Buy: At this time of the year, you can't pay me enough to go shopping. That's what is for. But with traffic and parking, I'd say this is about $10, minimum
  • Finding software: Cheap. About $1
  • Standing in line: $5 easily, plus you have to put up with people arguing over flyers and just being generally cranky during the "most wonderful time of the year." (Yes, I am so bah! humbug about this particular holiday).
  • Gas, driving time: Make it about $2, as gas prices are dropping, but my driving time is still valuable.
    Grand total: $18

Ah yes, opportunity costs...

Keep in mind I still intend to write McAfee a letter re their website. If I can find their email...
Update to the site: I've added two new fics: "How to Succeed in Hard Time.s..." and "Southern Fried Fanfic." I've also added my first original fic in a long time - a short vignette called The Studio at La Californie, based on a painting by Pablo Picasso. Other update information can be found here
I was wrong about the LP, btw. It was pointed out to be that I had forgotten the non-negative constraint and the linear assumptions, and once I input those, voila, it no longer worked. Now that's more like it.

However, I figured out how to do it in a non-linear method and then linearize that, so things are generally good. I see natural logs...
I sent Liz the half-finished "Unexpected" tonight. It's definitely another of those 'walk on the wild side' fics, but she asked for it. I'm actually quite proud of some parts of it and I'm looking forward to finishing it. I haven't quite decided what I'll do with it when it is completed, but for now, I'm just really enjoying it. It may just be another one of those 'private' fics. Anyway, Liz is going to beta what I have so far, so I imagine I'll make my decision after I get her comments.

Saturday, December 01, 2001

Scary stuff. My currency LP worked on the first try. Robbie was even sitting right next to me when I clicked "solve" - so I have a witness. I'm honestly frightened. Very, very frightened.
Because I really don't like linear programming and I'm always looking for a reason to procrastinate. Besides, I still have the sniffles, so that's reason enough to take it easy, right?

four things you would eat on the last day of your life:
- pasta with pesto and chunks of fresh tomatos
- samosas (oh yeah)
- rice
- tomato & garlic burrito (preferably from Bueno Y Sano, but as Amherst is there and I'm here, Freebirds fits the bill nicely)

four cds from your collection that you will never get tired of:

- "Little Earthquakes" by Tori Amos
- "La Luna" by Sarah Brightman
- "Made in England" by Elton John
- "Evita" (Madonna version)

four vacations you have taken:

- London (1999)
- Virginia Beach road trip (1999 - from Longmeadow down, 18 hours of I95 South - lovely)
- Vancouver road trip (2000 - from Portland up, 6 hours and beautiful, beautiful scenery)
- Boston (2000, 2001 - weddings mean we must be all grown up now)

four songs you get stuck in your head frequently:

- "Hero" - Enrique Iglesias
- "Breathe" - Faith Hill
- "Faith of the Heart" - Russell someone (only after I watch "Enterprise" though)
- "I Need You" - Leann Rimes

four things you'd like to learn:

- Linear programming (preferably before Tuesday)
- Cooking (without water, without burning, preferably ethnic)
- White water rafting
- Another language (I don't care which one, just another one)

four beverages you drink frequently:

- Coffee, black, 2 spoons of sugar
- Water
- Diet Coke
- Lemonade

four tv shows that were on when you were a kid:

- Growing Pains
- Cosby
- LA Law
- Who's the Boss?

four places to go in your city:
(I'm cheating now, because there is nowhere to go here, but where I used to live...)

- Town Lake (it's really a river, dammed off at both ends, but details, shemtails...)
- Zilker Park (home of Christmas tree - as it may be - not to mention the free summer musical)
- Mozart's (coffee and decadence by the lake - oops, river - who could ask for more?)
- La Madeleine (Okay, a chain doesn't really count, but I spent an obscene amount of time here with my writing group)

four things to do when you're bored:

- surf the Internet (what? no email since 30 seconds ago??)
- write fic (I'm not prolific, I'm not...)
- watch HNN over and over again (what? the news hasn't change since 30 minutes ago??)
- sleep (ha!)

four things that never fail to cheer you up:

- family
- ice-cream
- phone call from an old friend
- babies