Thursday, February 28, 2002

Someone Not Me Has a Blog Named 'Britney Jean Spears'

But that is neither here nor there. I'm 11 hours away from finance hell and 13 hours away from nirvana. And I'm incredibly relaxed, thanks to lovely ladies of zendom who have been keeping in me stiches endlessly.

And I was wrong about never getting a telephone beta before. Bjorn and I have discussed fic on the phone before, but it's very different with a RL friend, because it just kind of happens. He has something to say about Chakotay and all of a sudden, we're off on this other tangent completely and then we're talking about other RL things and fic is far, far away.

In other Trek news, ASC Awards are now open with voting for ENT and TOS available now. So if you loved something this year, go, comment, vote. Really. You'll make a fanfic author very, very happy. Confused about how to vote? Email me and I'll be more than happy to explain it all. Just don't call me Clarissa ;-).

Anyway, time for my beauty sleep. Finance awaits.
Fugue Update

I'd be lying if I said I was actively working on "Fugue" right now (and I think I'm already in deep trouble for softening reality for the admittees last week ;-) Just wait until they get here in August, heh, I'm going to have to go undercover). Anyway, back to "Fugue"...

I have the big chunk of a beta Liz did on the first 3/4s of it so that's been pretty much done and Liz working through the last quarter now (yes, it's a long story). So at least there's progress being made at that end. Heard from Monica today about "Verita da Cuore" and "Fugue" as well and we're going to talk on Sunday evening; apparently, she's taking the train from DC back up to NYC and will call from there. I've never had a beta over the phone before, so this is mildly interesting. And here I thought AIM betas were the end all and be all of betas...

Sometimes, I wonder how people beta. Una told me that she and Matt Edwards met in a coffee shop every month or so to go over their fics. Most of "Lines in the Sand" was a 'live' beta - Liz and I spent hours on AIM every night with that baby. She'd tell me what would work and what wouldn't and I'd fix it right there on the spot and she'd either approve it or not. Then there's the regular email style betas which are either line by line or general paragraphs details plot holes or different directions to go.

I think it really depends on the mood of the people. I was on a time crunch for "Lines in the Sand," so the best way to do it was the AIM method (and bless Liz, for putting up 800k of text - she is the only beta to have lasted from beginning to end of that darn thing). But usually, I like to take my time, get a couple opinions (a couple, I think after three, it's starting to get into "too many cooks" category), think it over myself, and then see what happens.

But I think I've been procrastinating way too much lately on this fic and I realized that when I was going through my inbox today and realized that yeah, people were actually waiting for "Fugue." So, on that note, I promise to get "Fugue" out before the end of March.

Unless the ASC Awards kill me first. Which is very possible. I really should not be insufficiently reluctant. But there you have it. Insufficiently reluctant.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

What Was I Thinking Again?

Okay, so I wasn't thinking when I decided I needed to make a great, big change in my life and give up the very comfortable and luxurious existence I'd gotten used to. No, was not thinking when I went back to apartment dwelling and back to a wardrobe of jeans and heavy sweatshirts. Was really not thinking when I was pacing my apartment yesterday memorizing lists and formulas in bulk. Nope, somehow forgot about the fact that my life wouldn't belong to me at the moment I said, "I need a change. Maybe an MBA will be fun." Fun?

Incidentally, when I participated in a recruiting event last week, I actually had an admittee on the phone who asked me, "Do y'all have fun down there?"

And I said, straight-faced, "Sure we do. Happy hours every Thursday night, coffee breaks Saturday nights, and lunch in groups pretty much every day. We have lots of fun."

And then she asked, "So do you have a lot of work?"

And I said, straight-faced, "I can usually get it done by 10 pm every night. And I work as well."

Do you think I'm going to get smote (smited?) now for being sooo... well, not truthful? The best part of it was this was the last phone call of the evening and both Dayna (the Academic Advisor) and Brenda (a second year) were listening to me talk and Brenda's eyes were growing wider by the second.

"What program are you in?" Brenda asked me while Dayna complimented me on my time management skills.

Anyway, what brought this all one. One midterm down, four to go. This was the easiest one and I have to say, I was absolutely crushed to find out that I had blanked completely on the components of the marketing concept - and then walked out to see the prof right outside the door. He was like, "You're my marketing major, I bet you aced this one, didn't you?"

And I had to say no, because I did not know what the marketing concept was so I guessed. And he just stared at me mournfully and said, "But Berkowitz was your professor!"

I think it's really, really scary that my professor here knows my undergrad advisor from up there. I have this scary image of my prof calling Berkowitz up and saying, "Do you know that Seema left your institution without knowing what the marketing concept was?"

In my defense, I wasn't the only one who blanked on the marketing concept. More oft than not, if someone fell apart on the exam, it was because of that obscure marketing concept. Six parts - a list - but unfortunately, not one of the 80 million lists I memorized.
But in general, I think I did pretty well and I think my team's position paper on marketing the VW Beetle in South Africa was well-done as well. If anyone wants to know anything about the South African economy, I'm your gal as that was my section of the paper.

Now, next stop, Finance, where the class's goal is simply to surve it...

Saturday, February 23, 2002

I'm sooo not an Excel guru. At this point, all my numbers have gone haywire- not because I don't understand what I'm doing, but more because Excel and I simply don't speak the same language. I haven't been able to figure out how to assign conditions in If Then format and really, that's all that's standing between me and the finished product. Well, not really - I haven't figured out how to adjust equally for Sales Volume and Production Volume. When one changes, naturally, the other one must also.

I do cheer myself on the fact that I developed a very cool report in Access yesterday for Exec. Now, whether Exec think it's cool or not is another story - it might be a little too high tech for them - but I did use Excel to generate the drop-down menus and the self-adjusting data once I got the data pulled from Access in delinated form. So instead pages and pages of data, I managed to consolidate it into a little box which can be sorted by manager, year, and vice-president. They can look at the full view or just at specific individuals, using the drop down menus. The chart is what really makes me happy though - you can add and subtract managers and the chart automatically adjusts itself. I'm shamelessly proud of this achievement.

The survey spreadsheet is actually quite impressive as well, and I'm honestly in awe of the Excel gurus who walk amongst us. I'm starting to think that there isn't much you can't do in Excel, and in some ways, Excel is so much more user friendly than Access. I've heard of some archivists who use Excel, rather than Access or another ASP program, to generate their dynamic HTML pages - which I would love to do for the WDFA so I don't have to keep indexing in 80 million places (note to self: find a new number).

On another note, I really want to get back to my novel. Got some FB from Tracy on it and scenes keep jumping into my head to write. Plus, she made me promise not to keep her hanging like Tracie kept us hanging when she sent us her novel - minus the last couple chapters. So I think when I'm done with this Victoria nightmare, then it'll be nice to spend an hour or so writing up those scenes I've had running through my head for the last week or so.

Gotta get me some of those discipline pills!

Friday, February 22, 2002

My Friday Night

I'm taking a break right now and perhaps, if I'm very good, I might allow myself to watch two episodes of "Enterprise" that aired before Christmas. Yes, I am that far behind. All I can say is that if I move to an area near you, expect UPN to disappear very, very fast...

Anyway, about my Friday night. I've been slogging through the Victoria budgeting process since about 6:30 pm. I basically have 14 worksheets in my Excel workbook that have been linked together in various ways to test sensitivity to production/price/sales/income taxes etc. It's a blast, let me tell you. Right now, I'm stuck on how to link up production volume with sales and prices, as my Excel skills aren't so good that I can have this separate field. But as of right now, I've got the balance sheet budgeted - which is worksheet #14 - which is a marvelous achievement and I didn't even do anything odd to it (remember, I'm the one with the sketchy accounting habits). The fact that it balanced on my first time through is a little freaky so I have a feeling everything is going just too well for me right now.

As for the other situation, that hostile team thing. Well, turns out KD went to talk to the academic advisor about our problems - hence the meeting. G was downright hostile; I really thought he would rupture a blood vessel right there on the spot. But we said what needed to be said and now it's out there in the open. About 2 hours after this meeting, the group got together and we pounded out our finance case study, ie the Gulf Oil thing from hell (the things you can do with a consumer price index! The worksheet is a thing of beauty, let me tell you). And yes, it was a little tense. KD looked like she was going to burst into tears and the guys were acting as if nothing was wrong. Luckily, we had plenty of interference from roaming classmates - specifically the Palm Pilot Duo - and so the tension was slightly eased.

However, I'm still concerned. After the meeting, I said "Okay, this is out there, let's move on from here," but KD doesn't want to work with G anymore. And she told the Director that as well. Which makes me think we may be split up into a team of 2 and 3, rather than just 5. The stress was enough to give me a migraine - which I woke up with yesterday morning. I really don't like migraines which manifest themselves in the middle of the night - it means that I've missed the signs and medication does me little to no good after that point. So I've been sleeping on and off for the last 2 days, not to mention taking medication every couple hours hoping that I'll be coherent soon.

We did meet this morning and went over to the VW dealership to talk to the sales manager there about our market research project. Everyone behaved themselves. G and I looked at cars together and decided that the Beetle was a very cute car; I want one in apple green. Anyway, then we met in the coffee shop in the lobby of my building to work on our joint group midterm, which is 30 percent of our total midterm grade. Again, went well, and around 11 am, we went our separate ways. However, I came home around 4 from work to find a message from KD on my voice mail. So of course that concerns me as she left no indication of why she was calling like she usually does. Or maybe I'm just paranoid but I really can't forget the resolve in her voice when she said she wouldn't work with G.

I'm really bummed about the WSJ reporter. I guess I was hoping for the best. And of course, that little girl in California, and then the Andrea Yates trial... then the Russians are all in a tiff about Irina Slutskya not getting the gold (Sarah Hughes was perfect - there's no denying she won the program yesterday) and some days, I wonder why I even look at the news. I know that "if it bleeds, it leads," but just one day, I want the Pollyanna version of the news, you know? Is there - can there be - such a thing? Why are we so intent on the gory stuff and generally being unkind to our fellow human beings?

In other news, we've been talking about "making it" on zendom as well as the prevalence of baby!fic and marriage!fic and the reasons for them. The "making it" discussion is making me think, really think. How do you know you've made it? Does the fact that I received two requests for archiving this week mean I've "made it"? Do I look at awards my fic has won, several of which I've some how neglected to mention? Does the fact that I haven't listed these awards say something about how I really feel? How do I know when I've made it? Is there someone who is going to tell me when I've fulfilled the necessary criteria? (And Lori, I know what you're going to say! ;-)) I guess it comes down to how much I care and I've decided that it's only fanfic.

And before you jump all over me, believe me, I'm not disparaging fanfic. Would I have written over 60 stories in 5 years if that was the case? Twenty-five of them in the last year? No, of course not. It just occurred to me that this whole concept of "making it" is about as subjective as ice-skating is and I think we all agree that Michelle Kwan, even without her gold medal, has "made it" - she is technically the greatest skater of this decade, not to mention perhaps overall. Yet, no gold medal. Some people simply perferred Tara to Michelle, and voila, le decision not to award gold to Michelle in Nagano.

I started as a relative nobody way back in the stone ages and things have changed then, but the first time I got a note from someone actually offering a thoughtful analysis of one of my stories, I nearly fell out of my chair - and then hired her as a beta reader (Hi Liz!). But it was the first time I realized that wow, I wasn't out here by myself and yes, people were reading. Do I still fall out of my chair when I get FB? On rare occasions, yes, people still have the power to absolutely stun me and I can only stare at their words and wonder, "Oh my God, you're talking about me?" But what I'm saying is that I started as a nobody and I could leave as nobody and it's really the time in between entry and leaving - what you make of it - that really matters.

"Making it" is incredibly subjective and I wonder if I'd rather spend my time convincing people I've "made it" versus actually doing what I want to do - which is write the fanfic I want to read - regardless of whether the nebulous 'out there' types want to read it. I'm doing this fanfic thing because it's fun and yes, I know that I will never be one of the "must read" authors in Trek, but hey, I amuse myself greatly in the process. Not to mention, making great friends along the way. So hence, getting back to the "how do I know I've made it?" question - given all that I've said, I'm just going to end by saying that the day I write a fanfic I'm completely happy with, that says everything I want it to say, that'll be the day I've "made it" - regardless of what the rest of the world thinks - and will finally be able to retire.

Anyway, back the number crunching for me.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

So You Think You Know Me...

Are you willing to put everything on the line and take the ultimate Seema test?

Go on... I dare you. Highest score gets a beta from me :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

New article at Zendom

Lori managed to snag the interview of a lifetime - the fickle muse! You can find it at zendom. Next up, Zendom recommends rare and unusual pairings from multifandoms.

Monday, February 18, 2002

Lots of things happened today. I can't even think of where to start or what to say. I've got a serious case of fatigue right now, so I'm not even sure if I'm thinking clearly, but in highlights:

K told me she and her husband are separating. We stood out on the hall and it was just awkward in some ways, because she was crying on my shoulder and all of these people are walking by. I just didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything at all except to just pat her on the back and tell her I was free for coffee if she needed someone to listen. I mean, where do you even start on something like this?

And honestly, it came out of nowhere. I was joking around with M before class as usual, and K came in and without so much as a hello, she put her bag down, looked at me and said: "My husband and I are separating." A second later, the tears came and I was thinking, "Oh my God, why did she pick me?" And the only thing I could do was push her out into the hall, away from all of these people, and I really, really hope I didn't say something stupid.

Second thing, email from the program office. We're officially a "team in trouble." That was the subject header and I just stared at it, kind of like, "where did that come from?" Last time KD and I spoke, we had agreed to handle this ourselves, to deal with each situation individually, so I have no idea who filed the complaint. G called just a few minutes ago to find out what I knew about it and I was honest with him, but again, I knew nothing. I have my suspicions that KD may have complained today but I don't think she wuld have done that without telling me.

It will be an interesting meeting - we've been asked to be absolutely candid and that's a big mistake, because I really think it will end up being a dump session on G - and honestly, he has messed up, but I'm confident we can fix this, I really am, without dragging the program folks into it. I'm also nervous because last semester I scheduled a meeting with the Director re team trouble because of that problem with Dennis. The end result of that meeting was that Dennis got booted off the team and out of the program. I can only imagine what they were thinking when they saw my name again - they probably think I'm hard to get along with it.

Finally, talked to my boss this morning about this summer. He told me not to worry - I will have a job. As he said, "You have to have a way to pay for that trip!" and so I feel much better. I was considering moving to another apartment in the next town over to save on rent so not to dig into my savings anymore than I have to - even a graduate assistainship wouldn't cover my monthly bills. Yes, I'm spoiled, but I'm very grateful to my employer for keeping me around so I can continue to live in the state of luxury I'm used to :-) Well, sort of. Anyway, so that was a good conversation to have.

Look Ma, Romance!

I gave in and entered Becca's Hearts' Ablaze contest even though it was a Valentine's Day contest. Yes, you heard that correctly.

Anyway, the entries are now available/reading if any of you are interested in which story I actually entered that could possibly fit this theme and no, I did not write a new story for this contest. In an effort to redeem myself, the words "Valentine's Day" are never mentioned in this story, nor do people run around dressed in red and pink.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

Well, I got "sorted" and the results are below. So glad I'm not in Slytherin... (sorry, Liz!)

As the graphic says, you're sweet, hard-working, and loyal. You believe in justice and you're not afraid of sticking with something for a while. You're determined; once you set your mind to something you'll work as hard and long as you have to to achieve that goal.

Get Sorted!

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Flaky Seema

The "Elvis in the House" entry took place on a Thursday, not a Friday. It just felt like a Friday, since we don't have classes on Fridays - only the occasional seminar which requires suit-wearing attendance (no one should ever have to wear a suit on Friday- I'm serious about this), so basically, Thursday is my Friday. And yes, this means I get a long weekend sort-of every weekend, though for some reason, I don't get President's Day off; heck, we didn't even get Labor Day off, but we did get MLK's birthday off - which freaked me out majorly, especially since most schools which observe it call it an 'inservice day' because heaven forbid we honor MLK by name...

A coworker asked me to register to vote in my new county of residence and to also vote for a certain candidate, of whom I could only say he was a decent man. Which led said coworker to say that decent men are needed in Congress and so I should vote for him. I agree with that statement, but why am I going to vote for a conservative candidate, decent or not? This, my coworker could not understand. Didn't I want someone who would stick by his beliefs? Sure, but do I really care if a conservative candidate sticks by his beliefs or not? Sticking by one's beliefs is all fine and dandy, but I'm not a conservative, so the last thing I'm going to do is throw my vote to someone who is. I just found it incredibly humorous that X candidate's decency should be the reason I ought to vote for him, politics aside. And no, I don't mention that I'm a Democract (and occasionally, socialist) in these here parts - I do want to survive the walk back to my car and there are two things that you should never ever discuss: religion and politics.
Jon LeClair... it took me a minute or two, but I knew him. When you grow up in a small state with 5 high schools (okay, a few more than that, but not much), you know everyone and wow, it's just very cool to know that someone you knew at one point in your life is at the Olympics. Good for him!

More quizzes below, again swiped from Victoria who has an obvious gift for finding the really cool ones:


You give your love and friendship unconditionaly. You enjoy long, thoughful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at!

MERMAID Your personality type is MERMAID. You love the great outdoors and enjoy physical activites such as swimming, hiking, cycling and dancing. You have a natural tendency to wellness and are rarely ill. Your favourite season is Summer.
Click HERE to get your own personality doll

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Elvis is in the House

Odd Friday night occurance in a small agricultural/college town. Here's the deal. We were at Swenson's (which amazingly has a restaurant or two in Saudi Arabia) when Elvis walked in. We stared like any well-behaved people would and A went a step further and started making rather loud comments about Elvis and people profiting off Elvis' death. Of course, then Elvis turned around and said that there was more to impostering than just profit (but did not elaborate on what the 'something more' was).

Anyway, there were a gaggle of well-manicured girls at the two tables next to ours and they got Elvis to pose with them and take pictures. And then he started singing "Blue Suede Shoes." Acoustics weren't great, nor was there music, but it was still interesting. He was a little short to be Elvis, but gosh darn it, he sure sounded like the King himself. He entertained us all for about 30 minutes - quite interesting and as K observed, "Who knew Friday was Elvis night at Swenson's?"
Wasting Time

If I was a cyborg, my name would be: S.E.E.M.A.: Synthetic Electronic Exploration and Mathematics Android. That's according to Brunching Shuttlecocks which is an incredibly fun site. This site also provided me with the title of the upcoming "Star Wars" movie: Star Wars Episode III: Invasion of the Obi-Wan. And then of course, there was this particular reality. But then.... I found this article which is a lot more thorough than my take on the subject (see the May 26, 2001) entry.

And now, my dear readers, I have wasted enough time and will now proceed to go eat chocolate. Yum!

Blog Rerun

My thoughts on Valentine's Day. Those of you who tuned in last year on this date, will remember this, as will Bjorn, who probably saw it in first publication. Anyway, I can't say it any better than I did back then, so, I present to you, a blog rerun!

These internet quizzes are just way too fun... I swiped these from Victoria. Sometimes, these are just cute. Who wouldn't want to know what Sesame Street character they are? :-)

I am ZOE.

I'm in love with love.

Which Sesame Street Character Are You?

And this one...

Are you Addicted to the Internet?

49% (41% - 60%)
You seem to have a healthy balance in your life when it comes to the internet and life away from the computer. You know enough to do what you want online without looking like an idiot (most of the time). You even have your own Yahoo club or online journal! But you enjoy seeing your friends and going out to enjoy life away from your computer.

The Are you Addicted to the Internet? Quiz at!

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

I really ought to take my cranky mood somewhere other than where people congregate or I'm going to say something I'm going to regret very, very soon. But then, I'm going to the computer lab for some bonding time with my team, so that's not an option. So chocolate... tonight. Would be nice. Would help.

Barring that, I think I'm just going to hide my head under a pillow until the Britney movie passes.
I'm really way too depressed about figure skating to make any more prediction. In a private email, I had predicted the men's results pre-short program with Yagudin taking the gold, the silver going to Abt and the bronze to Plushenko. I hadn't even considered the Americans or the Japanese - the Russians are a force unto themselves. Elvis and Todd Eldridge, I considered a long shot - great skaters, but a long shot. Anyway, I was wrong - only Yagudin is in medaling contention right now. Timothy Goebbels has the chance to medal and a figure skater from Japan is in second place. I can at least say the judging was fair, but I did feel for Elvis and Todd when their marks flashed up - it must be rough to be in the high fours and low fives. I wouldn't be surprised though, if Plushenko turns in a solid performance, Goebbels will be out of contention - even if Goebbels skates just as cleanly.

Ice-dancing, I'm not even going to touch.

Monday, February 11, 2002

Okay, my predictions for pairs skating tonight and this is really optimistic, but I'm going to give the Gold to:

Sale and Pelletier!

Yes, I have confidence in the Canadians! They are more lively, more energetic and have good technique. I think with the amount of speed they have, they can topple the Russians. Plus, everyone wants the Russians to be toppled - you've got to add the element of bias (What? Bias in figure skating? You don't say!). So yes, if Sale and Pelletier skate cleanly - and they should - then the gold is there.

So about those Russians. Yes, I think if it came down to a tie between the two, the Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze will carry the day in terms of their artistry. They simply flow across the ice and have deeper and longer lines and edges than the Canadians. But when it comes to pressure situations, this pair doesn't really make it through without a bobble or two. Hence, I award them the Silver.

The Bronze, I give to the Chinese pair - Zhue and Hongbo. Yes, they have more speed and more energy than Sale and Pelletier and their jumps are simply huge. However, their spins aren't centered (watch how they travel when they spin) and they are lacking in the artistic component. However, they are solid and should take the Bronze. Only major mistakes by the Russians and Canadians will give the Chinese the opportunity to move to Silver or Gold.

Remember - the pair which wins the long program wins the gold, so the field is really wide open.

Now, off to Accounting study group so I can be home in front of the television in time to see how off/on I was with these predictions!

Sunday, February 10, 2002

An "LA Law" movie coming to an NBC station near you in May! Is there anyone out there willing to tape it for me? Please? I'll be happy to send you some fromage!

Oh - and the reason for my nasty mood has dissipated. Approach number three worked - muchos gracias to Robbie for the suggestion. Feel free to speak to me now :-)

This is my kind of flamewar..
Well, I made that decision, folks, the one I've been hemming and hawing over for months now, and I did it. This morning. Zendom folks should know what I'm talking about - but I feel so good! And a little pep talk from Yvonne (egged on indirectly by Lori's self-publishing thoughts) helped a lot. And speaking of zendom, we have a FAQ now! Plus, Jemima has updated the Koans as well.

I think I'm going to be zen now. It will help keep me from killing a certain individual. Ohmmmm....

Saturday, February 09, 2002

If any of you know where Malcolm Reeve's "Blood Lust" is, please let me know! Part I is missing from the P/T Archive and the email address no longer works. It's a darn good story too, for those of you who haven't read it.
Bjorn put up a picture. Lori, I know you were dying to see what he looked like...

Friday, February 08, 2002

Yes, I was right. We have a new boss. Now I'm three steps removed from Exec, whereas before it was just two. Distance is a good thing, but not when the job is in jeopardy. Plus, apparently we now report to a new VP - another not so good thing, since I have a good relationship with the VP we used to report to. So today I started looking for an internship for this summer. It felt weird, vaguely disloyal, to be looking for other employment, but I'm thinking that my days are numbered and I'd rather be prepared than not. I really am going to miss the Farm, I really am.
What are they doing to the bunnies??? Some people have absolutely no respect for the bunny! Humph!
People with way more time on their hands than necessary. Want to do some accounting, huh?
Site Update No new material added, but I offer you unbound's new semi sort of sexy new look. Okay, fine, not even really that new - except for a bolder red and I've finally got around to converting the name over. So please, if you've linked to me, please change the name to "unbound." Thank ye much.
Newsflash: An F-350 truck is not a compact car. It will never be a compact car. As a result, it will never, ever fit in a compact car parking space.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Random Thoughts

While I'm waiting for someone to call re why oh why my database won't link up properly (and plus, I've got to leave in 7 minutes - why start something new? *eg*)

  • Stop reading my brother's blog. He is starting to really, really frighten me. Can't help it. I'm the indulgent older sister who honestly believes the sun sets and rises on this goofball. But that doesn't stop the fact that he scares me. Better not to look. On the positive side, he is taping Enterprise for me and behaves himself (mostly) on the rare occasions we're actually in the same room together.
  • Note that people who decide to reorganize entire companies should have to be the ones to consolidate databases. And not with a T1 line either, no, but with a 56k line (on a good day!). So there.
  • Watching other people type is the equivalent of hearing nails on the chalkboard for me. The Punctuation Princess in me springs to action and it's a lost cause - the typist is miserable, I'm miserable. I can't help it. No one should type in front of me.
  • I'm going to make a point of living somewhere that is *at least* one foot above sea level. This *at sea level* stuff is not a good thing. Not in January when there's a windchill of 31 degrees and the water is around your ankles (mostly - I got home, luckily, while we were still at 'sole' level).
  • I think my boss has been reorganized out of a job. I can't keep track of the comings and goings either. I'm think that I might make myself a 'going' very soon if things keep going in this vein. I'm waiting for clarification though on said mysterious email.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

High Noon at the Blue Lagoon

After a brief hiatus to regroup, I present you yet another skirmish in the Blog Wars


The poolboys - specifically Sean and Russell - were complaining. They hated vinyl. They hated greasy food. They basically hated the restaurant at the end of the galaxy. In the meantime, Chakotay had apparently taken root in the corner of the restaurant and many a female patron of the restaurant at the end of the galaxy stopped to admire his broad branches and strong trunk.

"Wish I could have a tree like that," one red-head commented as she walked by the assembled trio of fanfic writers - Seema, Lori and Jemima.

"Was that-?" Jemima asked urgently, pulling on Lori's sleeve. "Do you think-?"

"Don't bother me," Lori said. She was typing furiously on her computer. "I just dropped a building on Picard."

"You know, you should really use a Mac," Jemima said. "Macs can do everything a PC can and better."

"I'd rather have a Wiki," Seema said as she sipped on her 80 millionth margarita of the day. (Editor's note: The producers of the Blog Wars do not condone drinking 80 million margaritas in one day for any reason at all. Furthermore, the producers of the Blog Wars believe that 80 million margaritas in a lifetime may be excessive as well. ).

Lori looked up, interested. "A wookie whacks a wikki. Or we could wikki on Contikki. It's a wicked wikki day-"

"Hey! I'm the one from Boston!" Jemima exclaimed. "Only people from Massachusetts say 'wicked.'"

"We could wikki," Lori said. "Will you wikki with me?"

At that moment, Mambo Number 5 came on the loudspeakers and all of the assembled poolboys began to dance around the Chakotay tree. Jemima looked really excited and started moving around in what can only be called an 'original wiki' dance. (Editor's Note: The NEA will be sponsoring a live workshop on wikki dancing at the Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy for those of you who would like to know more about this intriguing new dance form.).

Meanwhile, the poolboys were still complaining, so Lori and Seema thought it might be prudent to pack up the minivan get going.

"Honestly, it's like having a whole house of teenagers!" Lori exclaimed. Her parrot swquaked in agreement. (Editor's Note: We should have hired an English major for this edition, but they were all seemingly busy paying their fic taxes. We'll settle for someone who can spell next time.)

So off in the minivan they went; unfortunately, they had to leave Chakotay behind because he simply no longer fit anywhere and his branches and leaves kept messing up the uphlostery in the minivan.

"So where to?" Robbie asked cheerfully.

"Anywhere that's not here," Seema said. She considered. "You know, the one piece of fanmail we did get indicated that we ought to take a trip into the Stargate universe. Whatdya think?"

Lori and Jemima shrugged. They both looked exhausted from the wikki dancing.

"Do you think we should have thanked the singers?" Lori wondered.

"No," Jemima said. "It's not necessary. It would have been unsolicited, so whether we thank them or not is irrelevent."

"And we're in the minivan now and we're not getting out," Seema said, glaring at Lori. "May I remind you that it was your poolboys who started complaining?"

"Excuse me," Russell interjected, "but I thnk I'm going to win an Oscar anyday now..."

"Look at that," Sean grumbled. "Talking all about how great an actor he is. Nothing I couldn't do with the right make-up."

"Where are we going?" Robbie bellowed.

"Just drive!" Seema yelled. At that moment, the Swiss Department of War Apparated into the minivan.

"You again?" Jemima moaned. The Swiss delegates remained quiet, their eyes going back and forth over the assembled. Their major objective, Seema surmised, was to wear long black cloaks and basically do... well, they were Swiss for goodness sakes! Didn't they have money they needed to funnel away to the Caribbean? (Editor's note: Apparently this author also has trouble spelling "Mediterannean" as well. We apologize for the inconvenience.).

At any rate, the Swiss contingent took up the back seat of the minivan, and they moved just in time; a lawyer, and an entire press corps showed up at that moment.

"I don't believe I said this was a black minivan," the newly arrived blond woman said. "I believe I mentioned something about a dark colored vehicle which could hold 80 million people, plus or minus. I never said it was a minivan. Hello, I'm CJ Craig-" (Editor's Note: We didn't research this fact. We could be wrong. In fact, we're convinced we're wrong).

"The minivan is overloaded!" Robbie screamed and then they were all falling....

When they came to, they were on a tropical island. The ocean was a clear blue and there seemed to be some variety of sharks - well, many variety of sharks - plus some mostly naked people running around.

Seema looked at Lori and Jemima in horror. Somehow, they had jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

"Are we where I think we are?" Lori asked slowly.

"I'm never drinking a margarita again," Seema said bleerily.

"This place needs a wikki!" Jemima said forcefully.

The mostly naked people were staring at the newly arrived folks in awe. Finally, one came towards them.

"I am Richard," he said. "Who are you? Where did you come from? Why did you come here? What are you doing?"

"And I'm Em," the female said. "I don't feel like doing anything."

Robbie leaned over to Seema. "Can we go home now?"

"Why are you wearing clothes?" Richard asked. "Why is the sky blue? Why is the ocean wet?"

Lori glanced around. "Glad I brought the boys' Speedos," she said cheerfully. Seema looked at her.

"We can't stay here!" Seema exclaimed. "This is the Blue Lagoon!"

"Well, after all the other places we've been, how is this any worse or any better than the others?" Lori reasoned. "At least, there is sun here..."

"But it's the Blue Lagoon!"

At that moment, Christine appeared, slightly out of breath.

"Sorry, I was doing that law thing," Christine said. "But I came a quickly as I could. I see you've met CJ and the others. Very good. Now, I believe we're trespassing, but I'm not entirely sure. Technically, this island belong to Richard and Em, and their baby, and dang, I really, really thought they were dead."

"Alas," Jemima said sorrowfully as she looked at Richard and then at his hair, which in Seema's not so humble opinion, was the most unruly and unattractive style she had even seen. (Editor's note: Yes, this is a Blog War, not Cosmo. Your complaint has been noted.).

Seema flopped down onto the sand. It was hot, and she looked up to see that the sun was climbing high in the sky. It was, she realized, high noon, which could only mean...

Editor's Note: We apologize for this Blog War entry. It was not what we expected. We have sacked the writer. We have sacked the person who hired the writer. We have sacked the person who hired the person who hired the writer. We have sacked the person who hired the person who hired the person who hired the writer. We have sacked the person who hired the person who hired the person who hired the person who hired the writer. We have also sacked the producers, actors and directors of the Blue Lagoon. We apologize for the inconvenience. The writer of this note has been sacked.

Figure Skating Preview for the Olympics.

Monday, February 04, 2002

New zendom article

Jemima talks about fic taxes this week. Next time on Zendom, Lori sits down for an exclusive interview with her muse.

Sunday, February 03, 2002

Here's something fun for those of you looking for some light-hearted stuff after the heavy meta-fic discussions as of late.

Saturday, February 02, 2002

Look what I found!

I don't know what this is or where it was going, but y'all can ruminate on it, if you'd like. I even sense that this might even have parts that were eventually plagerized for other fics - if you can plagerize your own work. So it's rough, and probably not spellchecked - and telltale **** for "put something here when you think of it" as well marks. Read at your own risk


Debris. Everywhere. Scattered over thousands of kilometers.

Kathryn Janeway could not look away. She stood in the middle of the bridge, hands on her hips, as she surveyed the destruction.

She knew everyone else had seen what she had: the one large chunk of hull plating, marked clearly with *****.

Deep breaths, Kathryn, deep breaths.

And she looked away, aware of the six sets of eyes trained on her, all of them waiting to hear what she had to say.

"We're sure?" she asked quietly. "This is our shuttle?"

More silence and then Harry Kim spoke from the back.

"The hull markings are consistent," he said in a hoarse voice.

"As is the ion warp trail," Tuvok put in.

Janeway looked at Chakotay and then at Tom. Chakotay remained seated, his hands gripping the armrests of his chair tightly. Tom stared straight ahead at the viewscreen.

And even though she knew her request was futile, she couldn't help but turn to Tuvok and ask, "Survivors?"

"Doubtful," Tuvok responded. "But I will scan."

"How about the escape pod?" the Captain demanded.

"Here," Harry said. The viewscreen flashed the remains of the pod. Janeway's shoulders visibly drooped.

"Start the salvage operation," she said in a low voice to Chakotay. "Harry, contact the Volente for me, please. I'll be in my Ready Room."

Safe inside the privacy of her Ready Room, Kathryn Janeway swallowed hard; the lump in her throat was growing larger by the second. She brushed the back of her hand across her eyes and then gave up trying to stop the tears. After a few moments, she settled into her chair, twirling around to face the windows.

Volente, class-M planet, the first they had seen in months. Chakotay had suggested shoreleave, and she had agreed. Fresh air - that was something they were all in desperate need of. B'Elanna had mentioned that dilithium reserves were low and the Volente had offered to help with a survey mission over in the next sector.

"We'll rendezvous in two weeks," Janeway had said as B'Elanna had boarded the shuttle. B'Elanna had nodded.

"See you then, Captain," she had said.

And if Janeway recalled correctly, B'Elanna had even smiled briefly back at her.


Janeway turned around. Chakotay stood just centimeters away from the door. He was holding a PADD in his hand.

"Initial scans," he said. "I- I thought you would want to see these."

"Has Harry been able to raise the Volente government?"

Janeway made no move to take the PADD from Chakotay. Chakotay stepped forward and placed the PADD on the desk. Janeway did not look at it and instead, turned to stare out the window.

"He's still trying," Chakotay said. "There seems to be a communications blockout of some kind."


"Kathryn, about the memorial service -"

"I'm not ready to talk about that." Janeway stood up.

"No, I'm - I'm not thirsty."

"It has nothing to do with thirst, Chakotay."

"You think I don't know that?" Chakotay's voice was low, rough. "Captain, my friend was on that shuttle."

Janeway sighed. How long had she been trying to avoid thinking about B'Elanna? Even when she saw the debris, she hadn't thought - hadn't even considered the possibility - that B'Elanna was dead. After all, B'Elanna was, well, B'Elanna. Tough, fiesty, unbelievably strong.

Kathryn Janeway found it hard to believe that B'Elanna could meet her end in something as ordinary as a shuttle explosion.

"B'Elanna never gave any indication that something was wrong," the Captain said. "I mean, we talked to her two hours ago. She didn't say a word."

"Maybe she didn't know."

"She must have known. Explosions just don't happen."

"Yes, they do, Kathryn."

Janeway turned back to face Chakotay. She leaned forward on the desk, putting all of her weight on her palms.

"I want to know what happened," she said quietly. "I need answers."

"You'll have them." Chakotay pushed the PADD towards her. "Start here."

"You've read it?"

"Of course."

Janeway bit her lip, inhaled deeply, and then exhaled slowly.

"I shouldn't have let her go," she said. "I should have known better."

She waited for Chakotay to disagree with her, but he simply turned around. At the door, he said, "I'll have Harry continue trying to raise the Volente."

"Thank you," she said.

And she continued to stare at the stars.


He didn't bother turning on the lights. Illumination would only remind him of what he no longer had and for the first time in his life, Tom Paris felt the loss in every cell of his body. He lay on the sofa, hands behind his head, staring up at the ceiling. He felt cold, but didn't have the energy to get the blanket off the bed.

"I can't believe you'd rather go look for dilithium than spend time together," he had said as B'Elanna packed her bag. "We haven't been off this ship in months. Reconsider, B'Elanna."

She hadn't even looked up.

"We need the dilithium," she had said. Tom had caught her hand in his.

"Then cut the trip short."

"Tom, please," she had said. "Look, I'll be back in two weeks. We can make plans then. The Volente know this sector well. I can't pass up the opportunity to have them guide me."

"Think about the beaches." Tom had used his best seductive voice on her, but B'Elanna hadn't even reacted. Instead, she had cupped his cheek with her palm, leaned in for a soft kiss, and then left. And Tom hadn't bothered to accompany her to the shuttlebay.

And when he and Harry went hiking in the Volente mountains, he had convinced himself that he liked this time without B'Elanna, even expressed the thought out-loud to Harry. Harry had laughed.

"Don't tell B'Elanna you think I'm a good substitute for her company," Harry had said. "That could be a painful admission - for both of us."

Tom had laughed uneasily, thinking that lately he had spent more time with Harry than B'Elanna, simply because B'Elanna was angry with him all of the time.

"When she comes back, we need to talk," Tom had said as he hauled out his water bottle. "I need to know where we stand. Sometimes, I wonder if it's even worth it."

"You know it is, Tom."

"Then why would she do this to me?"

"We need dilithium. No dilithium means we get to live in the Delta Quadrant forever."

They had reached a ridge overlooking the valley. Below, a river sparkled in a hazy gray light. Lovely scene, romantic too, and he was here with Harry. Tom had snorted in disgust and turned to continue back up the path.

In his quarters, Tom inhaled deeply.

"Computer, locate Lieutenant Torres."

"Lieutenant Torres is not onboard."

Tom closed his eyes.