Monday, May 31, 2004

Rest, relaxation and retail

Given that this the 1,200th post to this blog, it seems anticlimatic to talk about what I didn't do on Memorial Day and trust you me, the list of things I should have done was quite long -- somehow, I just melted from the heat and just never got going on some of those things.

Instead, I watched an episode and a half of the X-Files, took a nap, went out at the hottest time of the day for a walk, and then I watched some really bad reality television. And oh yes, I cooked for tonight and tomorrow night's dinners, and I may have done some dishes in between -- not quite sure. It's amazing how when you live alone, you find yourself lapsing into "Oh, I'll do that later," because honestly, unless company is coming over, there is no incentive to clean anything immediately. Unless, of course, you've created new life forms -- which I have done in the past -- and then out comes the Lysol etc.

I did go shopping today and I bought three new skirts. It's summer here and the skirts are a necessity. I don't really wear shorts except to the gym, so I needed something more casual than what I wear to work. All three of the skirts are knee-length and two are black and one is an olive green. One of the black skirts has a funky cut-out design on it over a white underskirt and the other one has a nice lacey fringe at the bottom of it. Both are linen. The third skirt is just your run of the mill khaki skirt. I was wearing a khaki skirt today and noticed that no matter where I went, that was the skirt de jour. I think it's one of those things when you've got a heightened sense of something, you see it everywhere.

I also drove down to the big university, my brother's alma mater, as a matter of fact, to check out where my placement test will be. There's something really awful about university maps. I swear, they forget to label half of the streets and it's not to scale, and there are no signs saying, "This is the Continuing Studies building." So I kept driving around in circles and finally found it about 10 minutes later. Now the scheduling of said-test is a little dicey, but we'll see if I can work something out with the boss tomorrow.

This completely rambling nonsensical blog has been brought to you by the letter S. I can't promise more intelligent commentary tomorrow -- go see jemima for that -- but I plead debilitating heat as my excuse. Uh-huh.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

About that relaxing weekend...

So far, so busy. After putzing around this morning, I went to renegotiate my lease. And once again, no go. The manager wasn't in, so I still don't have an answer on whether I'm coming or going. After that disappointment, I walked down to Walgreen's, looking for hair dye, hair ties and toothpaste. By the time I hoofed it back, I was absolutely dying from the heat and I had a nice shiny perspiration glow to me.

I relaxed a little bit after coming back, watched the rest of "3" (X-Files, season 2) that I had started yesterday and had a couple of hard-boiled eggs for lunch. Then it was off to look at apartments. I looked at a total of four complexes this afternoon and in between, stopped randomly to get my hair cut.

The apartments I looked at were mostly super nice; I say 'mostly' because one was on the older side with a microwave oven from the 80s and the landscaping was dodgy, compared to other places I've been. What I have learned is that apartments comparable to mine are way more expensive than what they're offering to renew me at. The truth is, I have to make a choice here. I can pay less and get a smaller place and potentially have to pay extra for the washer/dryer, or I can suck it up and pay the extra $70/month.

For the most part, I'm very pleased with my apartment, with the floorplan, etc. Some of the apartments I looked at today have a laundry room that opens on the bathroom, which I would much prefer compared to mine -- which opens on the kitchen. All of the apartments I looked at today had kitchens the same size as mine, whereas the ones earlier in the week were smaller. None of them had a gym quite as nice as the one here, and one was downright tiny, as if it were an afterthought.

So, the jury is still out. I'm supposed to talk to the manager on Tuesday -- I think it comes down to who blinks first. Now that I've seen a total of seven complexes, I realize that I got very lucky here and that even the increased rent is less than what other places are asking for.

And oh yes, I came home and baked a blueberry coffee cake and watched some of "One Breath" (X-Files, season 2). Now, I'm going to get ready to go out for an overnight, with a stop at IKEA on my way. Will be back sometime tomorrow afternoon. See you all then.
A roof over my head

So in a few minutes, I go to negotiate with apartment people for my lease. After seeing three apartments in three days, I've got a fairly good idea of what the market looks like and damn, if I didn't get an awesome deal with this apartment. After calculating the costs, etc., I've come up with a resistance level -- in other words, it doesn't make sense to move if I don't save at least a certain amount of money. If moving and the rent increase are approximately equal, then there's no reason to move. Right now, the way the new rent is, it's cheaper to move. But if I get them to come down even $30, it'll be cheaper to stay.

Costs associated with moving include the usual phone hook-up and in this area, satellite television hook-up. That's $100 right there. Application fees average around $35 (I've seen as high as $50). There's a new 'administrative' fee two of the apartments I looked at require, so that averages to $100. One apartment complex is waiving the deposit, another is saying half-off on the refundable part of the deposit, and a third is not budging. The average of all that is $112.50. That's a total of $347.50; granted, the last item may change depending on the apartment, but I figure I need to calculate in the potential expense.

And for simplicity's sake, I'm rounding up to $400, because there may be other expenses I'm not considering. Moving isn't a real expense -- I'll either use Move for Free or my boss and a co-worker have offered to help me; gotta figure in pizza and beer for them, if that's the case (g). Pro-rate that over 12 months and it equals approximately $34. So theoretically, I can take an increase of about $34/month and that'll be breaking even between this place and a new one. An increase of more than $40/month, I'll move.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

This and that

I've looked at two apartments so far and the two I've seen so far just convince me of the vast superiority of my current place (g). It's getting hot here and I'm just not ready for the summer heat this year. It could be because I can't see an end to Crazy RL until the end of July; if only this apartment situation would resolve itself! If it's not one thing, it's another. But then I remind myself of my blessings and it keeps me thankful and grateful for what I do have; all of these are just road bumps.

I wrote a lot of emails tonight, believe it or not. Mostly to people who probably have given up on me and don't ever expect to hear from me again. In all of the mess that has happened in the last few months, I sorely neglected many people -- either by email or telephone -- and I feel bad about it. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming trying to keep up and I'm amazed at how other people do it. I'm not going to promise to do better, because well, I know I should, but right now, I don't think I can make those kinds of promises. I'm just going to do it as I can and hope people understand.

And did I mention that it's hot here?

Tonight, I also installed the latest version of Lavasoft's Ad-Aware since my computer sorely needs to be cleaned. After running Ad-Aware, I discovered my computer is crazy infected with something called Wild Tangent. You can read more about that here. I haven't decided whether to delete the files or not yet, mostly because I either got it from AIM or Lemonade Tycoon. I could switch over to Trillian and Lemonade Tycoon is rather dull, so maybe it's no big loss. If any of you have any advice, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Exit Strategy - How to leave Iraq in three simple steps. By George Saunders -- And now you know.
The Seattle Times: Local News: Why the Puget Sound area pays more at the pump -- This is good article on why gasoline prices fluctuate etc. Yes, it's geared for the Puget Sound area, but the philosophy/theory/causes are pretty much universal.
Miscellany updates

I've been using the Google toolbar at work to block pop-ups on that insidious piece of software called Internet Explorer, and along with allowing me to search google directly from the address line, it also allows me to blog any article that I see that I think is worth blogging. Which is kind of cool and convenient, because the old method required me to come to blogger, log-in, and then blog the article. I know, I know. In the old days, you had to write your own blog software.

I haven't been writing much lately and in an odd way, I'm not missing it. This is a completely weird feeling to have, just because I used to feel lost when I wasn't writing. Now I'm just in one of those long blah spells where the muse just won't cooperate and I have little to no story ideas and even less motivation to get the writing done. I was sad about it earlier, but now I realize it's wrong to force the muse. She'll come back when and if she wants to come back. So, yeah, no updates on writing projects any more -- the WiP list just stresses the muse out.

For Memorial Day, I plan to just laze around and, among other things, renegotiate my lease. If I can't get my lease renegotiated, most of Saturday will be spent trying to find a new place. I'm inclined to stay right where I am, but when my renewal letter arrived yesterday, they had raised my rent by $70. I did the math -- even with moving expenses (and I plan to use Move for Free), it'd be cheaper to find another place in the same neighborhood. So I'm going to call the complex this morning and ask them to reconsider -- I think they're more afraid of losing me as a tenant than I am to move.

BTW, the apartment people are very insidious also, with their renewal letters. I went at the beginning of the month to talk about renewal and they said they couldn't talk until I got my letter. So I waited and waited and yesterday, as I was leaving work, I told my boss that I was running out of time -- 60 days notice would have to be given this Sunday if I decided to move. Well, then I came home to find the letter stuck on my door. Which gives me less than a week to negotiate and see what else is available in the neighborhood. Part of the problem is, I was misled into thinking that my rent would be the same by the apartment people, so I didn't use this past weekend to go apartment shopping. Big mistake. They purposely, I think, did it that way so I'd be forced to pay the higher rent without knowing what else was going on in the market.

So this Saturday, I'll go and check out two or three places in the area and see what they're going for. It really comes down to how much the rent difference is between places. But I'm hopeful I can get these people to come down on the rent. This neighborhood is lousy with apartments and I know I can get a good deal just across the street. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 24, 2004

Yahoo! News - Vermont Named Among Most Endangered Places. I can attest to this as my hometown stores have pretty much gone out of business due to "category killer" type stores that have sprung up in the next town over. It was very sad to go into the neighborhood bookstore where I had shopped all of my life and seeing most of the shelves empty because the owner could no longer compete. As much as I appreciate "category killers" for their low prices, I also have a strong sense of nostalgia and feeling for the mom-and-pop shops that go out of business.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

The sound of music

I took a break from being a Very Bad Lemonade Tycoon to go and work out for about an hour or so this afternoon. First thing, I have to say it's super-hot out and it doesn't help that our gym looks out on the pool. I'm just saying. Second thing, when I flipped on the television, I ended up on VH-1's 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Countdown. The show has that same tongue-in-cheek "I'm too clever for you" vibe that the "I Love the 80s" series had, but still it was faintly amusing. Some of the song commentary made me laugh, but other times, I was shocked that my taste in music tends towards the Awesomely Bad.

I do 'fess to liking very much "I'D Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)", "You're The Inspiration", "What's Up" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's." I'm just amazed though that they selected Lionel Ritchie's "Dancing on the Ceiling" as a bad song; "Hello" has to be much, much, much worse than that and the video was much, much creepier. And please, "We Built This City on Rock and Roll" is a worse song than "Achy Breaky Heart" and "Ice Ice Baby"? With "Ice Ice Baby" and "Hangin' Tough" (the original boy band, yo!), I was so back in middle school again. (I'm also surprised Kylie Minogue's "I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind" didn't make this countdown, not to mention Leanne Rimes' "Life Goes On", which includes the lyric: "You're still thinking you're the daddy mack." I rest my case).

And now, I'm contemplating the heat and whether I want to go out and get some food for the rest of the week. And you can be sure that I'll be playing some Awesomely Bad music as I bop around town; the only thing I'm missing is the big hair and the convertible.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

The Apprentice

Tonight I spent much time playing Lemonade Tycoon and failing miserably. Yes, I might be an MBA, but I cannot sell lemonade to save my life. Wah! The first time around, I eventually had to declare bankruptcy because I didn't even have $1 to buy cups so I could sell more lemonade to get myself out of bankruptcy. In challenge mode, I started out with $250, but somehow within a few days, was scrapping rock bottom. You all laugh, but it's harder than you think it is! Really!

The thing about this game is that you have to get the recipe right to match not only the venue where you're selling (in my case, the suburbs), the weather, and set the price accordingly. I have yet to figure out the appropriate recipe -- I just know that what I'm using doesn't work and I sell between 5 to 15 cups a day. Which means I'm so not getting rich fast; the ten-year old down the street is doing better than me!

I will keep you appraised of the situation as time goes on. If you're interested in playing this game, downloads are available at Yahoo! and MSN; note the free version is only good for 60 minutes. After that, you need a serial code which will cost you $19.95. About the latter, email me -- I might be able to help you out (g).

Thursday, May 20, 2004


I got this from today's Dear Abby:


(1) You haven't asked me yet.

(2) Because I just love hearing people ask me that question.

(3) My fiance is waiting until after the parole is granted.

(4) I'm still hoping for a shot at Mr. America.

(5) I already have enough laundry to do, thank you!

(6) I'm afraid my parents would drop dead from sheer happiness.

(7) What? And lose all the money I've invested in personal ads?

(8) I'm married to my career -- although recently we have been considering a trial separation.

(9) If I married, I'd have to forfeit my $10 million trust fund.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Home Sweet Home

I'm back from Denver and I'm seriously dead tired because dude, I walked like miles in two major international airports lugging around the World's Heaviest Laptop, as well as my backpack. And being the sado-masochist I am, I skipped all of those moving sidewalk thingies. Now I realize that those moving sidewalk things are the airport's way of tell passengers tactfully: Your Gate Is Very Far Away, You Idiot (tm).

Plus, y'know, it's the whole thing of sleeping in a strange bed. I was staying in a very nice hotel in Denver and at $139/night, it was very luxurious and comfortable. Even so, last night I tossed and turned and ended up watching an episode of "LA Law" at 3 in the morning. This was odd because Monday night I slept extremely well and was surprised that Tuesday night didn't go so well. And then, you know how this story ends -- I fell asleep, deeply, as a matter of fact -- and then there's the cheery wake-up call, complete with weather forecast.

Anyway, the whole conference went really well. I learned a lot, schmoozed a little bit -- or as much as I can possibly schmooze. One guy did ask me why I looked so miserable, and I managed to back out of it by saying I was contemplating. He didn't believe me, but he was friendly enough, turned out he does business with my company, so there was an easy schmooze there and business cards were exchanged. I wonder what's going to happen with all the cards I handed out; I'm wondering what I'll do with the ones I collected. When working for Very Big Insurance Company, all of my business cards went into "Win a Free Lunch!" baskets (I never did, but it wasn't for lack of trying!), so the fact that I was actually trying to use my cards for the purpose they were made for is actually rather... different.

Other things I should mention: The Denver Airport has bunny rabbits and also, there was a man, a chainsaw and a block of ice. You can draw your own conclusions. Me, I'm like a tired child who is very cranky and knows she should go to bed but is resisting every step of the way.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Fan the Vote

There's a community called Fan the Vote where fan artists/writers/betas are getting together to offer their services in exchange for a donation to the John Kerry campaign or Since I live in a state where my vote is pretty much moot, I have decided to let my pocketbook vote for me. So I've already made a contribution to the campaign and in return am receiving a story from a very talented writer.

I was thinking of offering my services as well, but wasn't sure I'd have to time to write anything, especially since my muse has pretty much keeled over from exhaustion and stress. But... I can never say no to a good cause. So if you are interested, I am offering the following:

* Editing services -- $1 per 100 words. So a 1000-word story beta means you'll donate $10 to either of the organizations above.

* LJ icons of your choice -- $1/icon

* Book cover for your story -- $10/bookcover

* One short story between 1,000 - 3,000 words in the following fandoms: any Trek except TOS, JAG, X-Files, X-Men, and Gladiator. Your choice of pairing, either slash or het. $10

Leave me a comment if you're interested. Please note, it's illegal for non-US residents to contribute. Also, I need all requests and donations made before June 30. You can read more about this cause here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Have you voted today?

Spoilers ahead for tonight's American Idol, but first, a public service message. First, I agree that gasoline prices are crazy high, that they are at record levels. I know this. I see it at the pump and I watch the exchange every single day for 9 hours (and you thought your job lacked excitement?). I keep reading about price gouging etc, but let me assure you -- this is not the case. There are about a gazillion factors driving the crude oil market right now, but the main driver is 'fear', believe it or not. We can directly tie in price spikes to events in the Middle East -- it's crazy. Add to that OPEC curtailing production, ramping down of refineries for regulatory and profit reasons, and you've got record high crude prices.

And btw, the $40/barrel that they're talking about as being highest prices since 1990 is in absolute dollars, not 1990 dollars. To buy that same barrel of oil today would be about $64, not $40, if you consider an annualized period of 14 years and an inflation of about 3.5 percent. So that $40/barrel of oil is still cheaper today than it was in 1990. Just something to think about. Also, that you probably still pay more per gallon of water/milk/juice than you do for gasoline.

And now, spoilers for American Idol ahead.

This is where you turn back if you don't want to know. With only 15 minutes left in the West Coast edition of the show, I'm not going to 'white out' the spoilers. So go! Go away now if you don't want to know what happened.

But can I just say, that while I enjoyed Jasmine's voice, how can they keep her over LaToya London? How does this happen? It's like John Stevens redux. Boot Jennifer, keep John. And Jasmine! Jasmine looked as if she didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She's got another week, but God, did she really deserve another week? I honestly didn't think she was that bad on Tuesday night and did not deserve a skewering from the judges, but LaToya... oh LaToya was my favorite! The one I wanted to win! So now that means I've got to give my support to Diana DeGarmo because Fantasia? Uh-uh.

I'm getting way too invested in reality television.

Have you voted for Shii-Ann/Rudy/Richard yet? (see here -- "Excercise your right to vote"; my permalinks are still messed up and I haven't figured out how to fix them. Grrr....). Go vote! Even if you don't know what I'm talking about, go vote! Now! Seriously! Don't make me come over there!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Oooh, shiny!

There are lots of new features at blogger now, but I'm not taking advantage of any of them. Usually I love jumping on the new tech wagon, but I'm not sure I like the way the new commenting system is set up, especially since you can't really customize the look and feel of them like you can with YACCS. The new templates are really tempting, but I don't like the fact that they have little profile sections and I'm not sure I want a profile. It might mean the reintroduction of the Scary!Purple!Seema -- if you don't know what I'm taking about, it's probably for the best.

This is my 1,186th blogger post. I'm such a navel gazer. I'm going to have to come up with something interesting for the 1,200th post. Suggestions are welcome.
Excercise your right to vote

I hereby petition all of you who read this blog to go vote for Rudy/Shii-Ann/Richard for "America's Tribal Council". While undoubtedly Rupert is going to walk away with the $1 million, let's at least make it somewhat suspenseful. Plus, Richard and Shii-Ann were totally non-bitter and kicked butt at Sunday's Tribal Council and Rudy is 70 years old. Seventy years old! I think gumption should count for as much as grunting, don't you?

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Boob Tube

The one thing about watching "Survivor: All Stars" tonight is that along with all the filler material, I got to watch the same promos and commercials over and over again. Thankfully I missed a bunch as I muted the television to talk on the phone first with Sheetal, and then my mom, but the last hour was simply nails on the chalkboard awful with all of the promos and commercials. Oh the lack of variety! Oh the reptition of it all! You have missed the ad for Navy NCIS and whoa, the CSI event of the season, so let's play it again!

So help me God, if I never ever see that promo for "Helter Skelter" again, it'll be too soon -- movie event of the season, my left foot; as if a ghoul like Charles Manson really needs any kind of screen time. And much as I love Dick Van Dyke and am absolutely thrilled that there'll be a 'new' episode on Tuesday, I honestly needed to be told only once or twice. By the 25th time, I was dying. And then the local news was going insane over some shot that will help you lose weight -- "Stay tuned for video at 10!" -- and of course the awful problems the new tollway caused over the weekend; you can always count on our local news to bring the doom and gloom!

However, I did realize that life does not end for Star Trek actors when their ship sails off into the wormhole of syndication. Patrick Stewart has found himself second life doing voice-over for Crestor, that's Kate Mulgrew pushing Plymouth Voyager, and yup, Terry Farrell is talking about Medicare. It's hard to miss those voices on the 80 millionth reiteration during a 45-minute time period.


Blogger's got a new look, whee! I looked at the shiny new templates and I'm so tempted, so very tempted! And comments! From Blogger! I'm contemplating switching over from YACCS, which has provided the commenting service for the last few years. I'm very loyal so it'll be tough to make the switch. So for now, I'm sticking with YACCS, but I like the idea Blogger will email the comments to you, which YACCS doesn't do. Stay tuned for further updates on this very important issue.

Friday, May 07, 2004

How much do you love your toast? This much?

Here's an IQ test for you: IQ Tests. Just a little bit of fun to lighten up your day. Don't be fooled by the credit card screen that comes up after you press submit -- if you provided a valid email address, your IQ score will be emailed to you and you can just go elsewhere after clicking submit. Have fun!

Monday, May 03, 2004

This moment brought to you by Eyemasters

So due to the massive storms we had over the weekend, my apartment got very, very clean. BTW, it got clean because I was stuck at home most of Saturday because it was too dangerous/scary/freaky to go outside and I got bored and cleaned the place silly. It doesn't even look like my place it's so dang clean. But I cleaned to the extent that this morning I stumbled out of bed and could not find my glasses, as they had been moved -- inadvertantly -- from their usual resting place to somewhere mysterious to me during my mad cleaning frenzy.

My morning routine consists of the alarm going off (Sarah Brightman's "Harem Tour" CD) and I listen to the first three songs ("Kama Sutra", "Join Me" and "Imagination"). Then I literally roll out of bed (ouch!) and stumble into the kitchen where I put the kettle on. And then it's into the bathroom to brush my teeth and that's when I locate my glasses and put them on. And then, back to make the coffee.

Well, this morning, I stumbled around in a fuzzy haze, checking every possible location for my glasses. Now, I'm not terribly near-sighted. I can actually function quite well without any kind of corrective lense in the sense I can discern objects and have a vague idea of what they are. I can even read without glasses, no problem. However, I need glasses for driving as I'm unable to read street signs without and I also have a serious lack of depth perception and occasionally, I am unable to make out separate shapes if they are all jumbled up together. But. I digress.

So I'm running around looking for my glasses and time is running out. I haven't had my coffee, haven't eaten my bowl of Cheerios, or gotten dressed. After running over in my mind where my glasses must be, I decided that the most likely location was in the drawer in the bathroom. I kept opening the drawer and didn't see any glasses. I took some objects out -- box of Q-Tips, lotion, the occasional bottle of perfume, a wide assortment of lipsticks -- and peered in more closely, but still, nothing and by then, I was having a full-scale Seema Panic Attack (tm) (don't try this at home, kids!). Did I accidentally throw my glasses out in my feverish attempt to rid myself of the piles of paper I've accumulated since August?

Finally, in exasperation, I put my contacts in and armed with my mug of coffee, I continued the search. Only to find the glasses in the drawer, exactly where I had assumed they would be. (sigh). They were actually on top of my small jewelry box and without corrective lenses, I was unable to discern the shiny frames from the piles of necklaces and other assorted pretty objects.


In other news, I saw "Finding Nemo" yesterday. What a totally adorable and sweet movie! I love it! Ellen DeGeneres as Dory is a hoot. I recommend this movie to everyone and anyone. Very cute.


Also, to clarify in my below post, there is absolutely nothing wrong in using the first person POV -- I use it myself quite often and enjoy writing it, however, there are certain situations where another POV is probably better utilized. In the end, it really does come down to what works for the story and there are no hard-fast rules for writing, despite what people say and you'll never find two people who totally agree on anything.

In my muddled-headed way, what I was trying to say is that the following example isn't well-served by a first person POV:

The blood rushes out of my nose and I feel the world going dark. I smile one last time and then there is indeed darkness.

The narrator is dead. There is no one left to tell the story. First POV narrative would require the story to either end before the narrator died, or have someone else tell the story. Hopefully, using an example -- completely fictitious and made-up on the spur of the moment -- will clarify what I was trying to point out. As always, take anything I say with the proverbial grain of salt.


Also, this column is a good example of why I heart Ellen Goodman so much.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

On writing

I was going to write up a post on self-editing and my great big epiphany last week that was mostly jemima's fault, but that I have yet to share with her or any of you. However, given the lateness of the hour and the relatively fluffiness of my brain that ensues as the clock approaches bedtime, I will instead discuss death and POV. There are two things I bet you never expected in the same sentence, huh?

Today I read an X-Files story where there was a lot of dying. When I say a lot of dying, I mean a lot. My issues with all of the dying and angst will probably fill another blog entry, but I mostly took issue with the perspective of one of the parts of the story. This was another one of those pieces where the POV changes from part to part; first it's Mulder's 3rd person narration, followed by Scully, then Skinner, and whoa, now we have Mulder's first person narration in the form of a journal, and so on so forth.

My issue is with first person narrative. There are some very good reasons to use first person. For instance, you can get inside of the head of the main character, look at things from his/her perspective, describe feelings and settings from one consistent POV. Some people think first person POV is relatively easier than the others to write because iit is possible to write the character from within rather than without. I don't have a firm opinion on what POV people should use in their stories -- whatever works best for the story you're telling and for the character who is telling that story, that's what I would recommend.

The only exception is if there is character death and the character dying is the first person narrator. If the character is telling the story from a retrospective, then okay, that'll probably work. But having the first person POV actively telling of the death of the narrator? That doesn't work so well. First of all, if the narrator is in the act of dying, who is telling the story? How in the very short time preceeding realization of death does the narrator manage to squeeze out all of his/hir story and then still have time and clarity of mind to talk about it while dying?

As with most things writing-wise, this is my personal opinion and I honestly don't think there's a wrong way or a right way to write anything, but some ways make more sense than others. If your main character is going to die at the end of the story, I would suggest a third person narrator or a telling "in retrospect."