Saturday, November 30, 2002

Congrats to Jemima for finishing NaNoWriMo! It's an hour away from midnight, so technically I could still have a go at it, but I'm tired - exhausted from overeating, so I think I'm just going to have to surrender to the word count as it stands: 43,883. I did think I could do it, but I kept getting interrupted at the computer - people wanting to check their email, order books on Amazon, Star Trek movie previews (my cousin and I actually got into a mini-argument over this one because as all of y'all know, I want to know nothing about Enterprise or the movie) and of course, the same cousin who wanted to read the novel. So hence, I didn't finish despite a Jemima-influenced push last weekend, but thanks to NaNoWriMo, I got further than I would have gotten without it (note, we're not differentiating quality versus quantity here, okay?).

I have a busy week ahead of me - no time for stalking people on AIM or other venues, I'm afraid. I have three presentations, a paper, and a job interview this week. The job interview dirt will be in the other blog after the fact. Likewise, my dissertation on libel versus slander will have to wait until later on in the week, as well as my "What is wrong with Enterprise" rant. So watch this space for the not-so exciting updates in the life of Seema.

Friday, November 29, 2002

I should be watching football, but it's getting depressing, so I'm not. The word count sits at 43,883. I thought I'd get to 45,000 last night but my cousin caught me at the computer, wanted to read the novel, and when I wouldn't let him, he wanted to play chess. I don't even want to read the novel, just in case all of y'all think I'm holding out on my cousin. In the end, I couldn't find the chess board, so we played Scrabble instead. Not quite the same thrill as Literati, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

In other news, I think my trip plans are mostly finalized - I got a great, great deal finally on my itinerary and not only did I get a price I could deal with, I got the departure city of my choice (yeah! No driving three hours to the City to the Southeast!) and the dates of my choice. I'm waiting for a phone call back before booking but it looks like my trip is now going to include St. Louis as well.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

This may be my last stand. Word count: 43,579.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

I got the Tracy Chapman CD today - "New Beginning." Ah, it's beautiful. I've listened to "The Promise" a few times already and I love it. Thanks, Sara and Lori for the rec.
Thank goodness for Word count: 41,134.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

And what do naked people shop for?

I was poking around today and the following came up:

Words cannot express my relief at confirmation that yes, the Gap is selling clean underwear. Original page is here. Still ROTFL.
I'm almost tempted to get an LJ because then I could keep up with cool people like Bonibaru. Anyone have a spare code for me? I'm slowly, slowly thinking of going the LJ way...

Note, new links to your left. Enjoy.
Who needs sleep? Word count: 37,742.

Monday, November 25, 2002

The New McCarthyism and just in case you need a definition, check this out. A clear case of history that says you are guilty until proven innocent. Check out the list of those blacklisted: Dorothy Parker, Orson Welles, Arthur Miller, and Aaron Copland. In fact, Arthur Miller (I think - I'm not the English major) wrote "The Crucible" in response to McCarthyism. Same thing, except set in in Salem in the 1600s. If you're curious why it matters, check out the impact of McCarthyism. Just because you can do something, just because you've got the power, doesn't mean you can or that you should or that you're right.
The Penguin Warehouse, because, yo, we could all use a little penguin in our non-chlorinated salt-water pool.
In which we give thanks. Update at zendom.

Because of the monster chat o' doom, I hereby direct my fellow chatters to I took a quiz. Because, I had to know.

I am 21% addicted to Instant Messenger. How about you?

And just to be sure, I also found that I was only 2% SEVERELY ADDICTED to Instant Messenger. How about you?

ps. Be kind to your fellow man. Do not talk on your cell phone for hours and hours in a computer lab or in any other area where people might want it to be quiet. Okay? Do not care about your land deal, the state of your relationship, what you're wearing to a party tonight, what you're having for dinner, what your doctor diagnosed you with... do not care. Do not what to hear it. So stop it. Be kind.
It's all Jemima's fault. Word count: 31,000.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

A word to the wise

I'm in a foul mood. Since I'm not allowed to say why I'm upset, I have to channel my anger in a different direction and so I figured, what better target for my frustration than 24 Hour Fitness? They don't honor contracts and they are certainly not very friendly or customer-orientated. Plus, they use cheap toliet paper and that in itself is a crime - a very uncomfortable crime. So don't go there. Don't give 'em your money. Give your money to the Salvation Army people instead, the people with the bells outside the malls. Okay? Okay?

Nothing to see here

Still recovering from the Chat O'Doom. Man, you ladies can talk! And I'm going to be forever indebted to RJ Anderson for introducing me to the Markov thingy. ::shakes head:: I'm reading over the transcript and I swear, my stomach still hurts from laughing so hard. Thanks for a good time, guys!

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Things that make you go hmmm...

Got this in my email today. ROTFL!

If you are a Time Traveler I am going to need the following:

1. A modified mind warping Dimensional Warp Generator # 52 4350a series
wrist watch with memory adapter.

2. Reliable carbon based, or silicon based time transducing capacitor.

I need a reliable source!! Please only reply if you are reliable. Send
a (SEPARATE) email to me at:

I think I accidentally started something here. I am curious to know how people outside of the US view both the country and its president and I unfortunately missed the Oprah show (honestly!) that tackled the subject. I know it took me by surprise when I went overseas and the anti-American sentiment was so high in France. In Germany and Austria, no, but definitely in France. Anyway, I'm not sure if I should even respond to this thread anymore (other than posting the link to a relevant article). Thoughts?

And now, on to that team meeting. A 9 am meeting on a Saturday morning is not your friend.
State meme

Gacked from just about everyone. I'd do countries, but I'm already way past my bedtime. Suffice it to say, I haven't been to Australia, South America or Antarctica.

Alabama: No
Alaska: No
Arizona: Yes. Tuscon. And then this past summer, a brief layover in Phoenix where I got meet Liz! ::does the dance of meeting Liz::
Arkansas: No
California: Many times. An amazing number of times for a state that has always been on the other side of the continent for me. First trip ever was in 1978. I think I was 2. I've visited in 1992, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2002. I was in California multiple times during 2000 and 2001, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also spent a lot of time in San Diego - a week once in 1993 and a week in 1995. Let's see, LA, Palm Springs, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obisipo, Carmel, Monterey, Hollywood, you know - the whole drive down the coast thing?
Colorado: No
Connecticut: Yes. Gak. Lived about 45 minutes from the Connecticut boarder for four years. Jemima and I are agreed on this one: not a place to live, and certainly not even nice to visit.
Delaware: Yup. Several times, usually on the way to Washington DC.
District of Columbia: Yup.
Florida: Yup.
Georgia: No
Hawaii: No
Idaho: No
Illinois: Yup. Chicago and Bloomington. My company's headquarters were in Bloomington and I was privileged enough to make several business trips there and I lived for a short while in Bloomington while on temporary assignment. That's where I rediscovered Shakespeare through the Summer Theater and became obsessed with Richard III.
Indiana: No
Iowa: No
Kansas: No
Kentucky: No
Louisiana: Yup, New Orleans, 1998. Ten of us went on a seven-day cruise after graduation. New Orleans was one of our port-of-calls. We spent the entire day there and I ended up using my visit to New Orleans as the basis for my fic of the same name.
Maine: Yes. I think we went to Ogunquit, a quiet little beach town every summer.
Maryland: Yes. Blink and you'll miss it, but yes.
Massachusetts: Yup, lived there for four years, but had visited plenty beforehand and absolutely adored Boston from the time I made a trip in sixth grade and the teachers walked us on the Freedom trail.
Michigan: No
Minnesota: No
Mississippi: No
Missouri: Yes. My cousin and his wife live in St. Louis. But I drove to St. Louis when I was living in Bloomington to visit my cousin's then fiance. We had a great time, though it was so darn hot, I didn't see much of the city while I was there.
Montana: No
Nebraska: No
Nevada: I don't think so. Maybe when I was 2?
New Hampshire: Yes, grrr. I don't care what anyone says, NH is the upside down state and their ski resorts are so not better. Plus, every summer, we used to end our hiking season with a climb up Mt. Washington - which, if any of you have done that, it's quite the mountain, and it could be sunny when you start, but boy, windy and cold and snowy by the time you get to the top. And oh yes, no sales tax. And oh yes, the state swimming championships were held in Hanover (at Dartmouth College) as Vermont didn't have a big enough pool to host the event.
New Jersey: Yup. Family, family, family.
New Mexico: No
New York: Yes. Upstate mostly, and NYC itself. And I think we made an annual summer trip to Lake George as well to go to the Great Escape. The summers when we didn't go to Le Ronde in Montreal instead.
North Carolina: No
North Dakota: No
Ohio: No
Oklahoma: No
Oregon: Yes. Memorial Day weekend 2000, I believe. Portland was the starting point for the great roadtrip up to Vancouver. Beautiful city, beautiful state. Loved the trees.
Pennsylvania: Yes. Hershey, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Amish country...
Rhode Island: Yup. Did you know that all the highway projects in RI are run by the mafia? My last trip through RI was not under good circumstances.
South Carolina: No
South Dakota: No
Tennessee: Yes. My aunt and uncle lived in Knoxville for while so I got a chance to visit there.
Texas: Yup, yup, yup. I've been all over the southern half of this state, but not to the western section. I hear tell that there is nothing out there though except sand.
Utah: No.
Vermont: My birthplace. If you don't count the 3 years in Germany, I lived in Vermont for 19 years. Lovely place to grow up, beautiful scenery, quiet - don't mind me, I'm just going a bit nostalgic here.
Virginia: Yes. Most recently, a roadtrip down from Massachusetts to Virginia Beach in 1999.
Washington: Yup. On the same roadtrip up to Vancouver.
West Virginia: Nope.
Wisconsin: No
Wyoming: No

Friday, November 22, 2002

My neighbor likes electronica music, or whatever music that's all beat and no melody is called. She's got the bass turned up so loud, my apartment is shaking; I'm shaking. Normally, I don't like to dictate what other people listen to, because according to some sources, my own taste in music is fairly sketchy. However, that being said, I'm dying to cross the little walkway and knock on her door.

"Hi, my name is Seema. I live across from you.I know I should have made a pie or something, this being the first time in three months we've talked to each other, let alone seen each other. The neighborly thing to have done would be bring over fresh baked cookies and lemonade." Deep breath. "However, could you please, please turn your music down? I hate your taste in music and while I'm all for supporting your First Amendment right to listen to any music you'd like, I'd also like you to have the courtesy to appreciate my Fourteenth Amendment right to some privacy. Privacy, that is not interupted by your music. Nice to have met you. What's your name again?"

But I probably won't. I'll probably sit here and seethe and be thankful I'm not studying tonight. And that I'm going out in fifteen minutes for the evening.

Confidential to Jemima: It was most definitely me.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Because I obviously need to get out more. The SAS code never did end up working. The data was corrupt, my model pathological, and I decided to read my way through polynomial regression because coding for it wasn't working. On a positive note, I did get a new data source, so the second part of the project will (hopefully) go more smoothly.

And oh yes, other things MBAs do for fun. Here's the storefront for a web initiative my ecommerce team and I are developing. I made this tonight during "ER." It's rough, and probably would fail most user-friendly guidelines, but it'll eventually get smoothed out. It's mostly a 'wow' prop for the prof because when we presented our idea to him in his office last week, he didn't seem to be too thrilled about it and was more interested in finding ways to shoot it down than to help us figure out what direction we ought to take in development and promotion. We're hoping, if he sees it in full-color (blue, in this case), that he will like it better. We're praying for points on creativity and effort, even if the idea does tank, seeing as the professor has pretty much made up his mind about our idea - we doubt any of the other teams will mock-up their initiatives.

My rant about professors will be saved for another blog.
Say what?

My data source is corrupt. My complete SAS log is here because when in doubt, convert to HTML and upload. Actually, it's more funny than not at the moment. There's a reason why computer labs have padded walls.
The Rejection Collection, for those who who submit and don't get chosen. Authors get to critique their rejection letters. Pretty interesting.

And I forgot to mention. Another job interview. In two weeks. It's taking place on my "wear a suit every single day" week, so at least I don't have to exert additional energy to stuff myself into nylons and I have to clomp around in high heels anyway. I'm really enjoying how all three of my presentations take place on consecutive days - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday, I think, can be business casual though.

And is Grace really getting married tonight? I don't trust NBC's promos at all.
Thanks to Jo, here's a link to The Spamwars. Go, play. It's satisfying. Even got to take a shot or twenty at Sid, the spammer. Reminds of the time when I was really into Quake and Doom (shhh...) - good way to get the aggression and frustration out, you know? Today's spam included an offer to turn me into an opera singer. Have these people heard me sing? I think I'm going to take another potshot and then go read.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Fresh Fic

New story in the Glory Days universe - "Stand By Me" by Rocky. Tuvok makes a trip to Earth. For those of you joining this program in progress, "Glory Days" is a post-"Endgame" series that follows our intrepid heroes' lives after Voyager. Ten stories completed to date, tentatively, there are four more to go. (I say tentatively because that number changes every week).

In other news, I bought a pie today. An apple pie. I didn't mean to. I just stopped at the grocery store to pick up fresh veggies for tonight's dinner (for those curious - I made an onion and mushroom pizza) and as I was checking out, there were fresh, hot apple pies right there on the counter. At the terrific price of $2.50. And did I mention that they had just, just come out of the oven? I resisted for about two minutes and then just capitulated and bought the pie. So I had fresh, hot apple pie this afternoon, when I was planning to have a salad for lunch. The salad, I guess, I'll just have for dinner tomorrow night instead. Those grocery types, very sneaky.

I'm watching "The Great Race" right now, waiting for "The West Wing" and for the pizza to finish baking. Anyway, I'm feeling all nostalgic for Europe now because today's episode is taking the contestants through all of the places I was this summer. They're at Fussen right now - which is where Neuschwenstein Castle is and where I was in May. And then they were in Salzburg and Munich - also places I spent time in this summer. The scene that got me was where the contestants were sitting in the train station waiting for a train to Salzburg. Reminds me of when we were sitting around - sometimes for hours - waiting for a train. But the Munich train station was much nicer than the ones in France. French train stations - they were literally warehouses with nowhere to sit and nothing to eat. But the Munich stations and the ones in Barcelona and Madrid were very nice. Which reminds me - I've got pictures from Spain to scan in. This weekend, possibly Sunday. I know you're all holding your breath, waiting for these pictures.

And now, I think the pizza is done and "The West Wing" is on.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Today was feedback night. Lots and lots of feedback. It's all Christine's fault. And while I'm at it, I'll blame Victoria too. They know why and I'm jealous, very, very jealous at how dilligent they are. I 'fess - I've been derelict in feedbacking. So today, I sent a lot. Some for stories I bookmarked months ago. I'm a terrible, terrible reader. Forgive me.
Our 'how to make it big in Trek' advice columnist is back. Enjoying greatly am I. Especially the non-sequitor about Jeri Ryan and Brannon Braga.

Market me, baby!

A Seema is forever.
Happiness is Seema-Shaped.
If You've Got the Time, We've Got the Seema.
Can You Tell Seema From Butter?
For a Hard-Earned Thirst, Seema.
It's Seema Time.
We're with the Seema.

I've ceased studying. The truth is, I've gotten to the point where I don't know what I don't know and what I do know -I hate it when that happens. I've read all seven chapters twice - once when initially assigned and then again over the weekend. I took the online practice quizzes twice. I've read the chapter summaries once. I've gone through the class notes once. I've read over the PowerPoint slides once (not counting the first time seeing them in class). I've reviewed the more complicated material at least 80 times. I'm not sure what else I can do, other than eat lunch and get to class.

Last night, just before bed, the measurement scales finally, finally clicked. I'll probably looking over sampling plans one more time, and possibly the Fishbein measures of attitude toward behavior and objects because I keep getting them confused in my head. The equations, no problem - got those down - it's which one that directly corresponds to behavior and which one corresponds to objects that confuses me. Of course, despite clickage, I'll probably review those measurement scales and scale properties once again. They confuse me still - not because they are hard, but because sometimes I don't understand the way this book is written. At least three chapters out of the seven are statistics-based - statistics theory, versus actual computation - and that is always a Good Thing.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Sunday, November 17, 2002

The Quotable Mod Squad. What happens when one consumes too much caffeine and the 'send' button is right there.
Is anyone else receiving spam from themselves? In other words, I'm getting spam with my email address on it, making it look like I'm the sender - which I'm not. It's happening with a couple of my Yahoo email accounts too so I'm guessing that it must be happening to other people with Yahoo/Hotmail accounts as well. Rather scary that, people can take your email address in vain just like that.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Physics 101

Newton's Laws and fannish behavior. Because it must be said.

The first law, in its basic form, is "An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by force." This also means that an object in motion will continue in motion unless acted upon by a force. In other words, this is inertia.

The second law is easy: F = MA. In other words, the force on an object is equal to the product of the mass and acceleration of an object. This formula manifests itself mostly in objects falling off the Tower of Pisa (and is also a pretty good way of calculating what falls with greater force - one kilogram of iron or one kilogram of feathers. Gravity/acceleration is approximately 9.8 meters/second - you can do the math if you still aren't sure which one falls with faster).

The third law is the one people go around quoting all of the time. "For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction." So theoretically, if someone in China sneezes, there ought to be some kind of reaction in the US. Okay, so maybe that's not in the spirit of the law, but you get the idea. This is the law I see most often in fandom - someone snarks in a blog, then someone else has to snark back. Fandom Wank is devoted to the idea of "you snark, I snark, we all snark for snark."

A very wise person said to me the other day, "If someone snarks in hir blog and no one reads it, is it still snark?" Yup, still snark, but in this case Newton's first law applies. It's snark at rest and so it shall remain, unless someone decides to put the Newton's third law into effect. But it's only worth acting on a snark at rest if the equal and opposite reaction is worth it. Whether it's worth or not is debatable - the snark continues, back and forth, and thus, fandom_wank. Once the third law takes effect, along comes the second law to top it all off. The more controversial the controversy, the greater the mass of fen involved, thus accelerating the discussion until fen take their toys home or realize that there's no reasoning with incoherence and/or illogic. When Isaac Newton got hit on the head with an apple, he was way ahead of his time in predicting fannish behavior.
The muse works in strange ways. ENT fic. An Inconvenient Attraction, in which Trip asks a question and Archer doesn't answer.

Friday, November 15, 2002

I can't believe it costs less to fly to the UK (sorry, Christine) than it does to the East Coast. I'm doing the ticket hunt again. American Airlines won't give me my credit from the ticket I cancelled last summer - which would have helped out a great deal. Right now, all tickets to Boston are over $300. I may just go the Priceline route if I do intend to make this trip, though all signs point to yes at the moment (my friend has bribed me with the promise of visiting our alma mater for a 'food' tour - yum!).

And oh yes, I didn't realize that when the power got turned off today, the outgoing mail server went down as well. It's only mildly irritating not to have access to the academic building - the building is only accessible by key card on the weekends, so obviously that isn't working either. But we don't have our regular university email either until 6:30 on Sunday, so I have to use my backup university account (yes, I go to a bizarre university where they give us multiple email accounts and then confuse us by sending important notices to the one you never check). I'm sure there's another outgoing server on campus somewhere, but I'm entirely too lazy to set it up at the moment as I know my regular server will come back to life on Sunday evening.
Survived the all-day meeting, which we actually ended at 4:30, instead of 5:30. It was pretty good - we got most of an outline hammered out, which is a Good Thing. It got a little punchy after lunch (we had pizza delivered, though surreptiously because we're not allowed food in the classrooms). Example:

R: So how are we going to get people to buy our product?
K: Convince them of the value-added proposition... if that doesn't work-
Me: Teddy bears. Give 'em all teddy bears.
K: I was going to say threaten, coerce-
R: Tony Soprano. That's the answer.
Me: No teddy bears?
K: The Sopranos might be more effective than teddy bears.

Okay, it was funny at the time. At any rate, when we were discussing our marketing plan, K suggested we buy time on the Superbowl to advertise our very regional product and then somehow the conversation veered to EDS' cat herding commercial and then I found the cat herding game. Play it. You'll like it. Just a word of caution: turn down your speakers or your computer will heehaw at you.
All day team meeting today. Pray for me. We start at nine and plan to work straight until 5:30 - which is when electricity and plumbing get turned off in our building (because of the addition being built on). I've done all-day team meetings before - once for the case competition last January (which was pure hell - imagine nearly 48 hours without sleep, being a small room with four other people, and then having to present your results to unsmiling executives at 8 in the morning). Then there was the final part of our Operations exam - another one of those "write a 15-page paper on oil shipping platforms and the most economical and efficient way of routing cargo" in two days. You get really punch-happy really fast, not to mention, you get to know your teammates extraordinarily well when it's 3 am and you're all starting at each other, bleary-eyed, wondering what's what.

The positive thing here is that I like my teammates, we work well together, and it'll be nice to get this whole project finished today and not have to worry about it later. I'll have another 30+ page paper on seafood to edit next week, so it'll be nice to focus completely on that project and not have to think about this one (on the automative industry) again - other than editing issues -until the day it's due - December 5th.

The Microsoft paper is done, with the exception of some iffyness on organizational structure - we suspect this information is old since my research turned up that Rick Belluzzo was let go during a company reorg earlier this year. This info looks old as well but we can't find info on what we think MS's new structure looks like - which is five-divisional with seven consumer groups stemming from that. Anyone know for sure?

Thursday, November 14, 2002

The Whole Nine Yards

My dream of being an International Woman of Mystery is not to be. I've decided to turn down the interview with the CIA. Too many complications - it was making my head spin, really. Mostly, it involved lots of time and effort on my part for a job that I would most likely turn down, if it was offered to me - not to mention, I had to rearrange my schedule, though the prof was really nice about allowing me to schedule a make-up exam for Thursday. But when push comes to shove, it's simply not worth driving the four hours there, spending money on a hotel, taking a few tests, and then having to cool my heels for a day before they tell me if I actually merit a second interview or not. I wonder if the FBI is hiring? I have a deep appreciation, ya know, for good hair and cool clothes.

Interview with Kelly at zendom. Go, read - I'm still trying to recover my dignity after my fangirlish squee.

And btw, I'm spotting Mod Squad phrases all over blogdom. We ought to start trademarking 'em and charging royalties per use - like "It's All X's Fault" and "Be More Like X." We might have other phrases, but remember, you saw them in Mod Squadville first.
More from my Market Research book

There are four principal ways of entering coded data into a computer. The most popular options are the keyboard terminal and the personal computer (PC) keyboard. Both are key-driven devices connected directly to a computer processor. The PC keyboard is connected directly to the computer, whereas the keyboard terminal is connected to the computer by a data communications link such as a phone line or satellite that may span thousands of miles.

Now you know.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Word count: 15,037.

Still behind, but at least I'm getting there. I'm thinking about changing the names of my main characters to Wilma Betty Sue and Billy Bob Wayne. That's gotta help with the count.

In honor of my being behind in the NaNoWriMo world, I present you my (very good) reasons of what I was doing instead of writing for NaNoWriMo.

  1. School. It happens.
  2. Papers. They happen and unfortunately, don't contribute to the word count.
  3. CNN. I'm obsessed - cannot be on the computer for more than 10 minutes without checking CNN. One thing leads to another and suddenly, I'm searching down fandom kerfuffles.
  4. Job hunting. Or lack thereof.
  5. I just gotta ask - who the heck decided that November, a month with holidays in it, ought to be National Novel Writing Month? Hmmm?
  6. Whatdya mean I gotta write a novel? You must have me confused with Lori.
  7. It's Jemima's fault.
  8. The NaNoWriMo forums.
  9. ASC Awards? Who me?
  10. Travel plans. Go north, young lady, go north.
  11. Dishes. I do a lot of dishes. Lots of 'em. And cooking. Yes, lots of cooking. So there.
  12. The bus. It was running off schedule today. Messed me up.
  13. Did I mention the paper?
  14. I have no one-liners. It can't be good without one-liners. This is where I want to Be More Like Liz Barr.
I think I visit the NaNoWriMo forums just to depress myself. That being said, I love this thread. I'm also discovering that NaNoNites keep livejournals and I'm fascinated, endlessly, but how crazy we all are. I've got 13 days left. If I write 3250 words a day, I will just make it. Barely.

Word count: 11,616.

Meaning, I'm probably not going to make it. And then to throw a kink in the plan, I have an interview - for the CIA - in a city five hours from here next week. I'm still debating on whether to go, whether it's worth it to miss three days worth of classes (including an exam - though if Prof doesn't give a make-up, then that solves my problem. No exam, no pass class, no graduate). I like the location of the job - which means, it's not in this state. But the pay is, well, not that great when you take the high cost of living in the DC area compared to where I am now. So I'm thinking on it still and given the short time frame, I've got to make a decision pretty soon. My thought is that it's good practice - but gak, all of that driving. But man, it's the CIA, the CIA... I could be an International Woman of Mystery.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

New software. No, unfortunately not to write my novel, but lots of new software from the Brother for my gift this year, not to mention, delivery of two tapes of Enterprise episodes. Anyway, I now have Photoshop 7 and Dreamweaver MX - the latest version which allows you to choose between Homesite or 'classic' Dreamweaver layouts. There are other goodies too on the CD, but these are the big ones - the best part about the new Photoshop is that it actually has pop-out menus so when I click on the tool, it gives a name; I keep getting confused between the dodge tool and the blur tools, so this is very helpful. Dreamweaver MX looks the same to me, but I haven't played with it that much - I went with the 'classic' layout, as I love the moveable menus. I got used to the 80 million little windows layout in Photoshop and I'm not big on the static layouts for design purposes any more.

And oh yes, new zip drive from the Brother as well. It's not new, but it's new to me ::grin:: and since I didn't get a CD-burner with my computer last fall, I needed something to be able to back my hard drive up. The Brother has all intentions of wiping my computer and perhaps installing a CD burner this winter, but before that happens, I want to make sure I have a copy of everything *somewhere*. And generous as Liz is, I'm pretty sure she doesn't want everything that's on my hard drive to clutter up her hard drive. (That is, presumably, if she's still speaking to me after I sent her the Evil!Novel, which rightfully ought to be classified as 'dreggy').

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Nothing on the word count. Can you feel the panic? I mean, really, feel the panic? I was looking through this big vegetarian cookbook my mom got for my brother. It's lovely, I mean, really, truly, marvelously lovely, with mouth-watering pictures of yummy type stuff. I was half-inclined to go to the kitchen THAT VERY MOMENT and make stuffed mushrooms, roasted red peppers and a whole bunch of other lovely, wonderful things. Of course, the urge passed within minutes and I'm fine now. Back to normal, but still mulling over adding my recipes - such as they are - to the site. An "In the Kitchen With Seema" kind of thing. Safe foods for the cooking inept, plus tips on how not to burn rice. But still a contemplating thing - something to do over the winter holidays when I'm off. Or maybe, I should just go get that cookbook back from the Kid and teach myself how to cook over the holidays.

But no, the word count is still stagnating and I'm pretty sure, given the crowd of relatives showing for Thanksgiving, I'm not going to make it up over the holiday either. I guess I'm going to have to write 5,000 words a day from here on out to get through it. Sleep, I hear, is vastly overrated.

And oh yes - weird response convo. I wrote: "The muse was very insistent that X tell her story." The response I got back? "Don't ever let Mr. X hear you use the word 'muse' - he hates it."

Friday, November 08, 2002

Real Life

The Kid got laid off again today.In other words, that's three jobs in 13 months. It's got to be some kind of record, really. I feel for him but I don't know what to do to help him out - it's not like I'm in a position to help out. A few months ago, yes, but now? The Kid graduated from one of the top universities in this country with a bachelors in comp sci. Two years ago, it looked like he had it made. When he told me the news this evening, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I honestly thought he was kidding, playing around. But he wasn't. He's unemployed. Again. This last job? Lasted exactly a month.

I wrote. Wow. Mucho gracias to Yahoo's LaunchCast for providing the wonderful music that got the juices flowing again. And I think I'm sort of happy with the results. Anyway, I just mailed the "novel" to Liz for safekeeping. The dear made the offer to keep my WiPs as I have a horrible habit of losing them. And now, must call it a night.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

I'm not the only one freaking out over word count. Just stopped by the NaNoWri forums and there are a whole gaggle of people over there who have raised procrastination to new art form. And these people? We hate them. No, no, hate is a strong word, too negative. Okay, so really envious. That's better. Less harsh.

It just occurred to me, if I wrote the novel instead of blogging, I'd actually get somewhere. But people, I have no plot, note posted in Jerie's blog notwithstanding. My narrator just underwent a radical personality change and I couldn't stop it from happening - who knew she wanted a backbone before the Major!Plot development occurred? Ack! Ack! I've been reading the productivity tips, but all that came from that was J/C babyfic, which seriously made my teeth hurt.
Bah, bad blogger, won't update. Humph.

Current word count: 4,621 (That's 9.29% of the way to a completed novel - one that makes no sense, but okay).

Evil!Microsoft Paper word count: 1, 630 (I had to stop there - that's 8 pages - but I could go on).
Joined another mailing list - just in time for the liberal bashing. Yup, love that. I get it in RL, I get it in my online life. One can only keep quiet for so long before one feels like screaming, y'know? I feel like I ought to wear a sign or something - "I'm not a bad person just because I'm a liberal" or for my particular neck of the woods, "I'm not an immoral person just because I vote liberal and I'm not a terrible person who's going to eat your child for breakfast just because I admire Hilary Clinton."

Anyway, if this political discussion continues much longer, I may have to unsub from the list - which is rather a shame because I jumped through hoops to get on it and I was really looking forward to what it had to offer in terms of writing and the wealth of experience on the list. There are some wonderful people whom I'd like to get to know better, but the recent discussions make me want to bail already.

Some people would jump right in there and want to offer a defense for the liberal perspective, but the truth is, I don't want to argue - I hate confrontation of any kind. I don't have any desire to change anyone else's mind or their feelings about other issues and I certainly don't want to listen/read to someone who is trying to change my mind. Is that really too much to ask?
Match up of the Centuries

Jolene Blalock versus Jeri Ryan - and the winner is: Jeri Ryan!

Kirk versus Picard - and the winner is: Kirk!

Kirk versus Janeway - and the winner is: Kirk!

Star Wars versus Star Trek - and the winner is: Star Wars! (boo!)

Enterprise versus the Death Star - and the winner is: Enterprise!

Okay. Bored now.
Confession Time

Victoria made it to fandom wank. Is it so very wrong that I want to be there too? Making metablog is very cool - don't get me wrong. Each and every time I end up there, well, things don't happen here in the blog. But make fandom wank - now that's a whole new ballgame - all the very best discussions are there. I can't help it... my name is Seema and ::sniff:: I love fandom wank.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Word count: 2,940 words.

It's a shame that work completed on the Evil!Microsoft paper can't be added to the word count. There are at least 1000 words there which are more coherent than the 2,940 above. I'm starting to get rapidly frightened about the prospect of writing a novel in a month - I'm seriously buying into the "No Plot, No Problem" credo. Scary, scary. Kudos to Sara and Jemima for being so incredibly diligent.
Can I just say how disappointed I am in the election results? No doubt my neighbors are tap-dancing in their underwear at the results, but me, I think I ought to just spend the next two years under my bed, cringing in fear.

Last week, I wrote something in my blog that a person, whom I respect greatly, thought was directed at her. The comment was actually a generalization about including spoiler space in stories and we cleared it up immediately.But it got me to thinking that I needed to be more careful in what I said here - the person in question said I shouldn't censor myself as this is my blog and I ought to be able to say anything I want here. Perhaps that's true, but I'm still uncomfortable with the idea because I don't know really who comes here and the last thing I want to do is say something that is taken the wrong way.

That's the problem with the printed pixel medium and with blogging. You can say what you want, without thinking, because it's so quick. But because it's easy doesn't mean you should say it. I know I've felt plenty insulted by things people have written in their blogs - often without cause and provocation - and the I know they don't mean to insult me - Seema - specifically, but it happens the same way I didn't mean to cause this person to feel guilt over something I'd written in my blog. It's all unintentional, but it makes me think, as a blogger, I ought to be more intentional and careful in what I say. I'm a New Englander and I have that very dry, very sarcastic, acrid sense of humor - when I first moved here, I had to learn how to tone it down a great deal because that kind of humor isn't as appreciated here as it was in Vermont and Massachusetts. But it still comes out in my blog on occasion because that's who I am, but I also understand that people who don't know me may find that humor off-putting. It's for that reason why I keep blog posts simmering for a day or so sometimes when I'm trying to find the right words for what I want to say. It's for that reason why I delete posts that I think may be hurtful.

The bottom line is, high school was a long time ago - I barely remember it, thank goodness - and I have no intention of living out the experience once again in fandom. It's not my job to make fandom, as a whole, a happy place - or even a fair place to be, but I certainly do try, given my case of Insufficient Reluctance and my desire to give lots and lots of FB and stalk talented new authors (Sara! Sara! ::grin::).

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

It's 2:33 pm my time. Come chat if you're free, for those of you who know my IM name. Liz, sorry, but I can't get Yahoo messenger to come up for me. This message self-destructs at 5:30 pm my time.
BNF Definition

Best one I've see so far. From Zortified:

I think BNFs are the kids who get their name in the school paper a lot. You get in once because you did something, twice because the school editor knows you, then after that it's because the journalists assume that everyone in school knows you and cares about you, because, hey! You've already been in the paper twice!

Monday, November 04, 2002

Wherein I accept responsibility for my actions

Jemima blames me for making her rubberneck at the most recent fandom kerfuffles and also here. Liz Barr has a thought or two as well. And because I can't leave a job half-done, here's more to cause fannish traffic battlenecks. At any rate, Jemima's analysis of Trek is right on and I agree with every word. I can't think of anyone in the Trek fandom running around proclaiming hirself a BNF - even those people who have every right to do so. It makes me nervous when people self-proclaim BNFdom and it makes me want to not be a part of the fandom. Some people think it's the slashiness of certain fandoms that scare people away, but I respectfully put forth that I'm a simple Trek minion and it's the BNFs who scare me from venturing too deep into other fandoms. So, don't mind me, I'll be under my bed, stirring up trouble for the rest of the Mod Squad, as best as I can. Because, as you know, it's always my fault.
For my fellow NaNoWriMoNites -

These are plot patches, kindly provided by our area's NaNoWriMo's liasion. Plug in where needed.

  • No plot, no problem
  • ... and then a miracle occurred
  • Scenes of rapturious beauty go by in quick succession
  • And then something really exciting happens sad to say, I've actually used this one as a placeholder in ficwriting
  • Suddenly, the plot makes sense
  • In the distance, a naked woman screamed

Happy writing!

Sunday, November 03, 2002

I paid 80 bucks for this?

From my Market Research text: "Hypotheses are smaller versions of theories."

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Site updates.

Which Spongebob Character are You?

I'm too tired to figure out why the picture won't show, but if any of you are curious I'm Patrick. No, I don't know who that is either. Thanks to Rocky for pointing me out to the quiz.


Trek people, I love you. Every single one of you. I've been there, been back, gone to take another look, and I have to say, all of y'all are the best. There's something to be said about a mostly rational fandom that manages to go years without imploding on itself. Smooches and huggles. I really do mean it. Poolboys, margaritas for everyone!
The Promise by Tracy Chapman closed this week's "ER." It's a lovely song, first time I'd heard it, though Chapman's voice was instantly recognizable. Bjorn, can you find this one for me please? I think it's so ficcable. Sample lyrics below:

If you dream of me
Like I dream of you
In a place that's warm and dark
In a place where I can feel
The beating of your heart
I just got back from my NaNoWriMo meeting. It was interesting, 7 people showed and apparently more were supposed to come. It was fun to meet other writers - a few already panicky about the task in front of us.

The organizer of the group was saying that she had just written a long, long fanfic and I nearly fell out of my seat. She was talking about fanfic in public? When I found my voice, I asked her what fandom and she said Angel/BtVS, and I was just amazed that she was so open about talking about this in a group of people. I mentioned I was a ficcer, but I didn't mention what fandom(s) - not that brave, even though this looked like a cool, interesting group of people.

The other members of the group all seemed to be involved in sci-fi and fantasy-type with a couple of romance writers. One person is working on her second novel; she's already been published. A bunch of them had done this last year and this is their second go-around.

One guy pointed out that we could finish the novel in 30 days if we wrote one word every 51 seconds. I'm particular to the 1667 words a day method myself. Anyway, it was interesting to get there and meet some new people and not have to talk about value-added propositions and EBITA.
There's a get together at B&N this afternoon at 1 pm for NaNoWriMo so I think I'm going to go to that. It'll be nice to meet people who aren't MBAs. Frankly, we MBAs aren't all that interesting. But our Halloween party was fun. The best Death who showed up at the door and didn't say a word, gave me a hug, and then got himself a beer - but couldn't drink the beer because of his mask. It was really creepy because he stood right behind me the whole time. I was so weirded out, trying to figure out which guy I knew well enough who wasn't already there. It got to a point when we wondered if we had let a stranger into our party. But then someone guessed correctly and the mask came off. It was a good laugh and Death definitely did the best costume job.

For those of you wondering, I went as a New Englander, or more precisely, a Vermonter. I was originally going to go as an employeed MBA, but decided that I didn't want to wear nice clothes. So instead I put on my jacket and gloves, and many of my classmates had the displeasure of listening to my Vermont accent for the first time. Okay, not the best costume, but I had had class all day and got home at 7 pm, with the party being at 8 pm. So there wasn't much time to think something up.

In other NaNoWriMo news, I've written a good 2,000 words so far (well, I use the word 'good' loosely - I've written 2,000 words). More, if you include my paper on Evil!Microsoft - I've gotten the first three pages roughly sketched out and have another three to finish by today. Any of you know anything about Microsoft's strategy, I would love to hear from you. Particularly, I'm looking for information on Microsoft's pricing efforts and market segmentations.

And in an effort to Be Like Jemima, here's my opening sentence for you: "It started, oddly enough, with the Christmas tree in the center of Towne Mall."

Friday, November 01, 2002

Access denied

I just couldn't leave well enough alone. I went and broke the site this evening. Which is why some of you may have seen the "You do not have permission to access this site" message or something equally rude. Color me panicked. It's fixed now - I sent two panicked emails to the brother, but he's out at a Halloween party, so I went and messed with it myself. At any rate, when he sees his inbox he's going to regret ever getting me webspace in the first place. Obviously, I've done enough damage for one day and I think I probably ought to go to bed now.
I give up. I've reinstalled Netscape totally but it's still goofy. But my mail client is back. So I'll be using Netscape for mail only and IE for everything else. Do you know how hard it is for me to surrender to IE? Oh the pain, oh the agony. And to confirm Jemima's diagnosis that my computer is sick (and it makes sense, as the one-year warranty just, just ran out), Adobe went nuts this morning and now both the crop and eraser tools refuse to work. So time to go uninstall that and reinstall. Methinks it might be time to wipe the hard drive and reload with XP.

Just an FYI: I don't have a mail program atm. Basically, Netscape and Mozilla have both gone bonkers and I don't know what to do. I've uninstalled and reinstalled several times. I deleted my profile as Jemima suggested and still, it's crazy. I got rid of my proxy server, but then Mozilla and Netscape both refused to work without the proxy. So now the proxy is gone, Netscape is gone, and Mozilla is gone. I have a feeling there's a 'ghost' in my computer that refuses to allow me to have a functioning version of Netscape or Mozilla, because Internet Explorer 6.0 works beautifully. At any rate, those of you who reach me at the Yahoo! account, no problems there. It's just the people who email me at the POP account - you're the ones whom I may have some trouble emailing back until I've figured out exactly what the problem here is.