Thursday, December 30, 2004
1 a : a short humorous or satiric writing or speech *b : a short news item; especially : filler
2 a : a small firecracker b : a broken firecracker in which the powder burns with a fizz
3 : a small electric or pyrotechnic device used to ignite a charge
was only a squib in the local newspaper about the student demonstration.
Did you know?
"Squib" rocketed into our language out of nowhere in the early 16th century (some etymologists think it might have developed as an imitation of an explosive sound) and almost immediately flared out into different meanings. Some of those uses still burn strong, but others (like its use as a word for a missile) have fizzled out. "Squib" often refers to things that have a spirited or explosive nature (like short works of satire or firecrackers), but it can also describe things that provide little or no bang for the buck (like news fillers and broken firecrackers). In British English, a "damp squib" is something that fails to live up to expectations. In U.S. football, a "squib kick" is a kickoff in which the ball bounces along the ground.
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
The second day after Christmas, I pulled on the old rubber gloves and very gently wrung the neck of both the turtle doves. The third day after Christmas, my mother caught the croup. I had to use the three French hens to make some chicken soup.
The four calling birds were a big mistake for their chatter was obscene. The five golden rings were completely fake and they turned my fingers green!
The sixth day after Christmas, the six laying geese wouldn't lay. I gave the whole darn gaggle to the ASPCA. On the seventh day, what a mess I found -- all seven of the swimming swans had drowned that my true love gave to me.
The eighth day after Christmas, before they could object, I bundled up the:
Eight maids a-milking,
Nine pipers pipint,
Ten ladies dancing,
Eleven lords a-leaping,
Twelve drummers drumming...
(well, I kept ONE of the drummers...)
...and sent them back collect! I wrote my true love, "We are through love!" and I said in so many words, "further more your Christmas gifts were for the..."
Four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and you can shove that partridge up your pear treeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
I'm trying to figure out why, karmically, I deserve such a day, and I haven't quite put my finger on it yet... I must have pissed off the powers that be somehow though.
Reasons today is sucking (in no particular order):
- STILL NO WORK EMAIL -- and I really need it! Have you tried doing business without your email lately? It's like trying to walk with one leg. I work in IT for gawd's sake!
- Cramps -- 'nuff said
- Projects that I didn't find out about until today, but that should have been finished yesterday, that will probably not be finished before I leave on vacation and what to do about them
- Projects that I have known about for two weeks, but people wouldn't give me the information on until today, so now they are in a huge rush
- My coworker -- yeah, you know the one
- The fact that what comes out of his mouth is "I want to help you out with this" and the next thing that comes out of his mouth is "it will really be easier if you just do it all."
- The fact that he thought it would be a good idea for me to come in at one o'clock IN THE MORNING to run this task he wants me to write. (Yeah, I basically told him where he could shove that idea.)
- Working through lunch because of aforementioned projects that suddenly exploded in my face.
- Not getting invited to go out to lunch for a coworker's birthday.
- The fact that my boss called and said, "I'll just email that to you," and I said, "no, you can't. I don't have email," and he said, "STILL?" like it was my fault. I have NOTHING to do with it buck-o, so get on the horn and get me some EFFING EMAIL!!
- Did I mention cramps? And a headache?? And that it's after three o'clock and I haven't eaten lunch????
- Smorgasbord of doom is still there. Yeah, I ate a piece of candy. Anybody want to say anything about it??? No? I thought not.
I've just taken three very large extra strength painkillers. If they don't kick in soon and make me feel better, god help us all.
Well, not actually. But he put $500 down so that they would hold one for him -- in ALBUQUERQUE. That's right! His new Scion tC is waiting for him at a lot in Albuqerque. He will be picking it up/buying it when he's there visiting his parents next week, and then he will drive it home.
He claims he is going to leave Sunday morning and be at the airport to pick me up in it on Monday evening. I said he was crazy. Then he reminded me that he drove from Pullman, Washington to Santa Fe in a day and a half.
He's still crazy, just in a different way.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Harry looked up from where he was dressing at Ron who had rolled over and pulled his pillow over his head in defense against the morning sun blazing through his windows.
"The floor, I think," Harry replied unconcernedly. "Fred said they had some trouble getting you up the stairs."
"Those bloody bastards," Ron moaned. "Why didn't they tell us what was in those stupid marshmallow things?"
Harry smirked. "Presumably because that would have spoiled the fun of watching you get toasted on marshmallows."
(2) Gigantic boxes of See's Candy (seriously, one of those puppies has got to be a five pounder)
(3) miniature loaves of pumpkin bread, sliced
(1) miniature lemon pound cake, sliced
(2) bags of chocolate covered pretzles
(2) huge boxes of Aunt Fanny's Pecan Pralines
(1) enormous tray of various cookies including, but not limited to:
- frosted sugar cookies
- frosted gingerbread cookies
- spritz cookies
- chocolate chip cookies
- peanut butter cookies with Hershey's Kisses in
- unidentifiable brown cookie with frosting
- other unidentifiable brown cookie (possibly chocolate?) with frosting
Various assorted truffles left over from previous box of chocolates
All of this is in addition to the regular tub of Red Vines and the laundry sized basket (seriously) of generic chocolate that are always present in the kitchen.
All I want to do is heat up my lunch, and instead, I find myself facing the holiday smorgasbord of doom.
And rubbing her hands together with fiendish glee????????
*Lacy leaps up and does a happy dance right in her cube*
Yay! Although, it's hard for me to get my brain around. I'm not used to this whole working right up until Christmas thing. You have to remember, for most of my life I have been blessed with the two week holiday off of school (last year I was unemployed at Christmas, which doesn't really count as a holiday, but definitely counts as not working). Somehow, it doesn't really feel like four days until Christmas because I am sitting in a cube rather than at home watching daytime television.
By the way, IT Migration Status Update:
- Email? No.
- Digital certificates I was supposed to have on Friday? No.
- Do I care? No.
Well, maybe a little bit, but not really enough to get worked up about.
Virgin Insanity Update:
We have discovered via H., the Japanese fan, that someone in Europe has been bootlegging the album and selling it over the internet. I will be posting a press release from Bert on the site today or tomorrow with information about that and about the official CD release.
Hopefully the site will be up and functioning by the new year. The thing that is mainly hinging on is whether or not I can find a free ftp program for uploading it from a Mac. Anyone know of a good one??
Lucy got my package all the way over in Dover (hee hee!), which makes me happy because I wasn't entirely sure I had sent it in time for it to arrive par avion. We received an ENORMOUS package yesterday from Brandon's parents which Brandon informs me is a cat condo for Cleo. I don't know what to say about that. There is also apparently another package waiting for us at the post office -- not the post office that is three blocks away and convenient, however. Oh no. It is at the post office way the heck up in the ghetto-tastic part of Santa Ana. Joy. But we need to drop off the form for them to hold our mail there anyway, so I guess it's good we have to go.
AND I got ANOTHER early Christmas present from my Mommy! Hooray for celebrating over the entire month of December! Thank you MOMMY!!!
Monday, December 20, 2004
"Oh, right," Ron replied sarcastically, "no difference at all. Except that you're a GIRL!"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Thank you, Ron. I'm glad you finally noticed."
From Chapter 26 of Sect
"I'm going to start being taller so you can't use that to your advantage," she announced, returning to the table and sitting down next to Harry with a smile.
From Cartographer's Craft by Sam
Cube Neighbor: I know.
VP: I just sent you and email and it came back to me and said it's not working!!
Cube Neighbor: I know. I'm not set up for email yet.
VP: But I needed to send you an email!! When is it going to be working???
Cube Neighbor: I don't know. Whenever [the new company] sets me up on the network, I guess. What did you need to tell me?
VP: Oh, nothing. Email me when you get set up and I'll email it to you again.
4/5ths of the IT department here are temporary or contract employees.
Now that the computer migration has taken place, everyone and his dog has questions about the new computer system, but only one member of the IT staff is an actual employee with email.
I have no work email at work.
I cannot communicate with anyone outside of my four cube radius except by telephone (which is moot because no one knows my extension), blog, or livejournal.
I am beginning to go through withdrawl symptoms.
Please send asprin.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
-- My boss asked if I would like a permanent position. It would have more responsibility, more power, and more $$.
--New company puts internet filters on the computers. FILTERS. On the COMPUTERS. FILTERS!!!!!
Not really a decision, but a very interesting conundrum. What am I going to do at work without the internet? WHAT?? Someone tell me please!!!
Then again, I do work in IT... Maybe I can find a way... er... around it...
Nice to email you.
I am very sorry for my sudden and rude email.
I retrieve Virgin Insanity on Google,and happened to meet your blog !
Is your father Virgin Insanity's member ?
Wow ! that sounds great to me.
I am very surprised and very excited now !!
First of all,I loved the name Virgin Insanity.
Its name reminds me of Arthur Rimbaud's poem.
The music is very plain....but I feel special atmosphere in it.
Have you listened to your father's music ?
I think the reason Japanese love it is Virgin Insanity LP has "Wabi-Sabi".
It is very difficult for me to explain the meaning "Wabi-Sabi".
In my dictionary,the meaning is "mysterious profundity""austere refinement""quiet simplicity".
But the dictionary meaning doesn't go well with what I really want to tell you.
It is not enough.
Have you seen a drawing in India ink(suibouku-ga) ?
To me,the feeling when I see suiboku-ga is the same feeling as when I listen to Virgin Insanity.
If you would like,could you tell him ?
With my very best wishes,
I just got his first piece of fan mail. No, seriously.
Some very nice person (I believe he is Japanese) found my blog by googling "Virgin Insanity" and sent me a very nice email about my dad and his band.
HOW COOL IS THAT????
I've asked him for permission to reprint part of his letter here, because it really is nifty.
And this is before I even have the web site up and running... Wow...
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
It is now 4:11 pm and we have not had said meeting. I go home in 49 minutes.
And I can hear him. He's sitting in his cube, typing, and shuffling papers and things. He's been there for almost an hour.
None of us has reminded him about the meeting...
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
Monday, December 13, 2004
"But," Hermione said with a small frown, "where's Ron?"
"Wait for it..." Fred and George said in unison.
Suddenly, from outside the frame, a five-year-old Ron came streaking into view -- literally. He ran past the camera without a stitch of clothing on except for one green sock. In the photo, Mrs. Weasley leaped out of her chair and began chasing after him as the little twins dissolved into fits of pointing and giggling while Percy frowned and the older boys chuckled.
"BRILLIANT!" George crowed happily.
"Gets funnier every time I see it," Fred said, wiping his eyes mirthfully. Ginny was giggling wildly, and Hermione's eyes looked as though they were about to pop out of her head.
"I HATE YOU ALL!" Ron screamed from another room.
"Going to give us an encore, Ronnikins?" Fred yelled back.
"Don't forget the sock!" George added.
From Chapter 25 - A Very Weasley Christmas
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Kris Said: (a) predicative nominative: become anathema.
Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't have studied linguistics rather than neuroscience, then I remember that linguistics department is full of a bubnch of arrogant, self important twats, whereas the neuro folk are fascinating mad scietists with a penchant for modelling things on computers and cutting apart skulls... :)
Lacy Said: I think I'm just overly fond of the alliterative onomatopia of "an anathema." =)
*enjoying the fact that you can use the words "predicative nominative" and "twat" in the same paragraph*
My GOD we're geeky.
a) worked out
b) organized a list of holiday gifts, including who they are for, what they are, where to get them, and whether or not I have gotten them, wrapped them, shipped them, or packed them
c) ordered presents (online and over the phone) for five people on my list
DAMN! What has gotten into me? Who is this woman and what is she doing sitting in Lacy's chair?
I am entertaining thoughts of actually putting together a holiday notebook for next year where I can keep gift ideas, my list from this year (so I don't do any duplicates), recipes, etc.
I am about to print off an address list for my holiday cards to be addressed and mailed this weekend (God willing).
I have an ENVELOPE in my planner with all my receipts in it from my Christmas gifts.
Honestly, what have I been smoking, and how can I make sure I act like this on a more regular basis?????
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
From Chapter 24: Silent Night
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but the very nature of blogging, to my mind, is in the enormous freedom a person has to write and publish his or her thoughts. They may not be thoughts that anyone else reads or, indeed cares about, but they are the blogger's thoughts. To me, the act of censoring these thoughts pretty well defeats the entire purpose of blogging.
Don't get me wrong. This is not me saying that internet pornography is a good thing or that curse words have a place on every blog, but honestly, if you're going to make a web tool specifically so that people can self-publish their thoughts, what exactly is the point of censoring them? Why not take it to the next step and give them an editor who also gives them tips on their grammar and spelling, because honestly, some of the poor writing out there offends me a lot more than the occasional curse word.
This article on Boing Boing called MSN Spaces: seven dirty blogs points out the inherent stupidity in computer based censorship anyway (watch out, there's some pretty dirty language in this article, but it's all in the interests of science...). To simplify the argument, it's back to the time when libraries were installing internet filters on their computers that blocked things like the word "breast" so that children couldn't look at pornography, but also so that patients couldn't look up information about breast cancer, and chefs couldn't look up recipes for chicken.
Does anyone remember that commercial for the very first apple computers in 1984? It had a woman running into a huge room and smashing a TV with the image of "Big Brother" on it.
Nah. I'm not feeling superior because I just bought a Mac (I still have a hotmail account after all), I'm just shaking my head at the stupidity of a system at the hands of a corporation -- like Microsoft -- that still believes we all want to live in ignorance.
Thanks, but I think I can figure out what smut is for myself, if it's all the same to you.
There were, of course, some people who were born with very useful magical talents like talking to animals, or growing plants, or making illusions, and they were the rulers of Xanth.
In the X-Men series, all the mutants have pretty useful mutant abilites (except maybe Toad), but I would imagine that if that were to ACTUALLY happen, most people would get pretty useless mutant abilities.
As a matter of fact, I think it's already begun.
I have, as far as I can tell, TWO completely unrelated, and wholly useless mutant abilities.
The first is the uncanny ability to discern smells. That's right. I have a peculiar alacrity for scents. Somebody sniffs and says, "What's that funny smell?" and I'm there with an answer. "Broccoli," I say, or "tacos," or "skunk." But, on the whole, unless I wanted to get a job with a perfume manufacturer, it isn't a terribly useful talent, is it?
The second, and altogether less impressive of my mutant abilities is the ability to always pick the longest line. That's right. In a supermarket, at the bank, going through a toll booth, you name it. If there is a choice of two or more lines, I will always ALWAYS pick the one that will take longer. Even if one line has twelve people and the other has two, if I pick the line with two people, the first person will have to write a check, and the second will need a price check on diapers, and by the time I get through, all twelve people from the other line will be long gone. As a matter of fact, I have even noticed that if Brandon asks me which line to pick, he will pick the opposite of my choice. It is invariably a good decision. So, you see, it is not, in any sense of the word, a useful mutant ability.
I can't be the only one who has noticed this. There must be others of you out there, somewhere, harboring your useless mutant abilities.
So I ask you, what's yours?
Monday, December 06, 2004
From HP and the Sect of the Serpent, Chapter 25 - A Very Weasley Christmas
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Love it. Love it so hard it hurts
Friday, December 03, 2004
"Just like it sounds," Hermione said without looking up from her reading. "Why? What are you being magnanimous about?"
Harry smiled. "I'm telling [Remus] that I'm very put out that he decided not to turn back up in this country for Christmas, but that I'm feeling magnanimous and therefore sending him his Christmas present anyway."
Hermione snorted and shook her head. "What did you get him?"
"A book." Harry felt himself blush slightly. "And socks."
Hermione looked up. "Socks?"
"Well, his have got holes in them. All of them. I saw that week it was me and Ron's turn to do the wash over the summer. So I got him some nice wool ones." He yanked the lid off the box next to him. "They're part cashmere, so they're really soft, and they've got these everlast charms on them so they won't shrink or stretch or get holes or any of that."
Hermione smiled at him as he held up a pair of soft grey socks for her inspection. "They're lovely," she assured him. "I'm sure he'll like them."
From Harry Potter and the Sect of the Serpent, Ch. 24
P.S. Anyone who knows why the gift of socks is an important symbol here gets a cookie. Not you, Kris.
The child cannot, under any circumstances, be raised by someone else. This means no adoption. No dropping the kid off at the police station. No leaving him in the Home & Garden section of K-Mart. If the child is raised by someone other than Claire he will ... he will ... he will ... he will nothing. WE NEVER FIND OUT! The psychic never explains what will happen. We're simply left with grave warnings. What is it, Mr. Psychic? Do we have another Jeffrey Dahmer on our hands? Is it the second coming of Yanni? What?!
From Film Fodder's The Lost Blog
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
You have an exceptional vocabulary and you seem intent on using it all in thisstory. At time it seems you just like dropping large words for no purpose, e.x.isochronal malediction. I think the contrast with your use of the word wanker in
a previous chapter is terrible and you should concentrate on trying to get your
point across more succinctly.
My question is, did this person think that "wanker" or "isochronal malediction" was the better way to go? Which is more "succinct?" Also, isn't the whole point of making use of an advanced vocabulary that one be more succinct in chosing words that mean exactly what is meant? Am I wrong about that?
Maybe I should just go around saying "wanker" more.
(In my defense, the "isochronal malediction" bit was meant to be a joke, but whatever.)
This person goes on to say:
The idea of the Owl Post chapter of just letters was both original and novel, tome anyway, however I don't think it worked and I pray you don't try it again.Letter after letter became 'isochronally' mundane.
Not to nitpick, but how can it be "original," "novel," and "mundane" all at the same time? Maybe he/she is saying that the idea was original and novel but my treatment of it was mundane? That's actually pretty harsh... If I weren't so confused, I might be hurt...
Or not. =D
From The White Hart, a work in progress.
Ah, apathy... What can I say? It keeps me sane and out of jail for murder.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
AND I've finally decided what it is about it that draws me to it; it has personality. It speaks to me the way the buildings speak to Oscar and Felix. I revel in the way the hotel and the church and the various other places they visit become characters in the story, very much personalities in their own right. And by making the places so personable, the sense of place and the sense of person meld and become one and give the story a richness that I could only ever dream of.
Five new chapters got uploaded today, and I am basking in the genius. So, without further ado, my favorite line(s) of the day:
From A Law Divine by Sam and Jaida
Portia watched Oscar. "If you scrap this [project] it'll break his heart."
"And mine," Felix said. Portia glanced at him. He was also watching Oscar. "When did the two become so completely intertwined?
*Lacy melts, dies, and is dead*
Top Ten Pointers for Killing a Turkey
(6) Should you be a vegetarian, don't kill your turkey. Just stare at it and say, "You and I are one." Then eat a radish.
Monday, November 29, 2004
From Draco Dormiens by Cassandra Claire
"Not. Funny," Harry growled.
"And you," she said, turning to Ron, "look like Cousin It, in technicolor."
From Chapter 23 of HP and the S of the S
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Random Thanksgiving Fact: Last year, Brandon was inordinately vexed by this commercial that came on that said that triptophan was the enzyme in turkey that made you sleepy. He freaked out every time that commercial came on and started ranting about how it is an amino acid, not an enzyme and that those commercial people should be shot for their stupidity.
Interestingly enough, the same commercial came on this year, but it has been corrected to say amino acid. Brandon was placated. His world returned to normal. Thank God.
Thanksgiving is not a holiday designed to be celebrated by two people. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to cook Thanksgiving dinner for only two people? I bought the smallest turkey breast I could find -- five pounds -- and I assure you, we will be eating turkey well into the New Year. The stuffing recipe I looked up serves twelve, a pumpkin pie serves eight generously, and according to the label, there are six servings of cranberry sauce in one can. Needless to say, we will be celebrating with leftovers for many moons to come.
But honestly, food issues and fraction fear aside, it is a little weird to me to celebrate a holiday with only two people. Holidays in my family normally mean LOTS of people. My family had dinner for ten today -- and that's WITHOUT me or Brandon. That's a lot of people. I feel somewhat at a loss with such a minimalist holiday.
I did all the requisite holiday things: I turned on the Macy's Parade when I started cooking so that I could vaguely listen to the show tunes and marching bands while I baked the pumpkin pie, but it wasn't really right because I kept looking around for Emily to walk into the kitchen with her flannel blanket wrapped around her like some sort of ancient pie goddess and yell at me for starting without her -- because the pumpkin pie is her job and has been practically since she was old enough to walk.
I cooked things in stages, all planned out, just like my Mom always does, but somehow it just seemed strange without at least two other people bustling around the kitchen with me, bumping into me, sharing the flour and the sugar and oh-my-god we didn't just put liquid smoke in the pie again, did we?
I mixed up the stuffing and put it in the fridge to sort of marinate, but it felt awfully strange not calling my dad in to taste it to make sure it had enough sage in it.
Finally, as Brandon and I were shaping the rolls, I realized that there should be at the very barest minimum two happy blonde children at my elbows making turtles and snails and pikachus out of bread dough and raisins and pecans. We had no pikachu rolls this year, and it just made my whole holiday feel askew.
So, when we set my table with out holiday bounty, everything was there: Granny's stuffing, Mom's rolls, Emily's pumpkin pie, Daddy's corn, Poppy's sweet potatoes. I even had a few new things, like my very first turkey made all by myself, and the wine Brandon picked out.
But still, it just wasn't quite the same.
I love you all with all my heart, and I'm so thankful for all the years that you made my Thanksgivings complete, and for all the years to come when they will be whole again.
Missing you in far-too-sunny-and-cheerful California,
P.S. Go Cowboys!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
*SIGH* Manana anyone??
From The White Hart, a work in progress
(Actually, I didn't write this today, but the more I read it, the more I like it, so I thought I'd flaunt it.)
I love me some Adam the Amateur Gourmet. He taught me how to spell Amateur. And he makes me laugh. And he published my rant on eddys in the fabric of gastronomic space time (link at left), which makes him my all-time-favorite amateur gourmet.
Plus, I love the grandma comment. YOU DON'T OWN MY LIFE!!! Hahahahahaha.
What is this world coming to? Is this the second sign of the apocolypse?
Monday, November 22, 2004
Sunday, November 21, 2004
OK, so they didn't turn on the voting until today (for my HP fan story)!! All you have to do is go to the page where my story is
and click the link either at the top or the bottom of the page. Mine is #18 in the second column. =D
I only have 5.9% of the vote right now. =( But only 17 people have voted. Anywho, since it didn't ACTUALLY go up until today, I have no idea how long it will last so if you're reading this on Monday, go ahead and see if you can still vote.
(Well, actually, I've been toting the genius on the internet since way back in the day. Anyone remember that email "newsletter" I used to send out with cool sites I'd found? Ah. Good times, good times...)
Specifically, I'm talking about the writing talent going unpublished (in a traditional sense) and largely unrecognized. There are some amazingly talented writers out there, just blogging away. (Check out Allison's blog for some of her reccomendations in the blog universe.) When I got into the fan fiction thing a few months back, I originally thought, "Wow! This will be fun to read other people's silly HP stories!" How wrong I was. I had no idea that I would find such superb art and literary craftsmanship disguised as fan fiction!
Of course, if you've been reading this blog carefully, you will have heard me mention Sam as an excellent example of this. Sam is amazing. Sam is my new personal hero. He writes the 100% single best fan fiction series that exists, plus tons of short stories, plus four original novels (in various stages of revision), plus a fifth that is in the process of being written, all available free on his web site and all every bit as good as the novels you would pick up from a "new releases" table at the bookstore. I especially reccommend Rebuilding Ozymandias, which is about an American architect and his cleptomaniac assistant, their rich French playboy employer, and the Hotel L et L and its ghosts which bring them all together. Lacy gives it an A++ on her genius scale -- and it has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Harry Potter, just for the record. ;c)
But he is not the only genius. My darling beta reader Kris is also a genius in her own right! She is a vet student and does all kinds of horribly tricky things like biochemistry and so on in addition to writing her beautifully lyrical fan fiction. Hers is prose that reads like poetry. Some of her descriptions of setting and place will absolutely take your breath away; I know, because I have been priveledged enough to take part in the revisions process with her by betaing her work. Her newest, Paper Wings, is an alternate universe HP fan fiction:
What if Sirius Black sent a final message from Azkaban? Enter the home of the last Marauder in the days following Voldemort's downfall. Lost and alone, Remus asks a question of the void, a question whose answer will send him around the world. Meeting puppies, Kneazles, dementors, and nomads, Remus learns more about himself and his friends than he ever thought possible. Learn the secrets of the Marauder's map and the world's best chocolate, how various Death Eaters occupied themselves after the fall of their lord, and why you should never leave Remembralls lying around.
And these are only two of the dozens of talented writers I have discovered thus far!! So, in the spirit of all this genius that I find myself surrounded by, I've started collecting my "favorite lines of the day" from various sources. If you appreciate a well-crafted turn of phrase as much as I do, I think you'll be blown away by what I've culled from the net.
And because art -- especially literature -- does not exisist in a vaccume, I've also started doing "daily drabbles" as you may have noticed. In fan fiction jargon, a drabble is a 100 word short story or scene. I'm not too picky about making sure that my daily drabbles are 100 words, but they are short snippets of what I have managed to churn out each day; my favorite few lines from my daily pounding of the keys. These aren't meant to be stories in themselves, merely glimpses of my daily literary forays.
I hope you will enjoy reading these gems I pluck from the electronic firmament, and I encourage you to follow the links I provide to the stories themselves and bask in the genius. If anyone out there is an HP fan fiction fan, you can also look at my livejournal, Lux Aeterna, for more HP-centric suggestions. =)
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Charlie and I are that kind of friend that can just pick up where we left off whenever we see each other or talk to each other. It doesn't matter how much time has passed since the last time we spoke, we just move on like it was only yesterday.
I don't think Charlie really liked me all that much when we first met. I think he thought I was annoying and bitchy and bossy. I kind of thought he was a pompous ass. But we were in Mr. Spaulding's communications class together, and we got teamed up for a project. One night we stayed at school until almost ten pm working on a project. I didn't drive yet, so as soon as we were done, I called my mom and headed down to the front steps of the school to wait. Charlie came down with me and sat on the steps with me. I remember thinking at the time that he was waiting for his mom. Well, my mom showed up, and as we were driving away, I saw Charlie walking to his car in the parking lot. He hadn't been hanging out waiting for a ride; he had been hanging out with me, keeping me company, making sure I was OK, whatever. That's when my opinions of him totally changed.
And we've been friends ever since.
Charlie, I don't know if you read this, but if you do, Happy Birthday, Man! I love you!! =)
Friday, November 19, 2004
Wasn't Army of Darkness torture enough?
And wasn't the whole point of Evil Dead the fact that it was bad and poorly made? How would you remake that? Make it bad on purpose?
The mind boggles.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
A young woman who worked in a 19th century wig factory in Boston went to the hospital for an upset stomach. They discovered that she had an enormous hairball in her stomach. When it was surgically removed, the matted hair actually had formed a cast of her stomach.
My boss, the curator, [of the medical museum in Boston] was on the look out for this missing hair ball, as a lot of the patrons would ask about it. One day at work in the warehouse, I picked up a huge wad of newspaper in the corner to find that there was something inside of it. I unwrapped it and there was the missing hairball!!
The woman had a nervous disorder (like biting nails, only on a grander scale) where she felt compelled to eat hair. A wig factory was perfect for this.
That's so disgusting. I love it.
"Hi," he said again, hoping this time for better results. "I'm Bobby."
The boy directly in front of him did not even look up. Bobby could see the top of his head through the space between the two seats, and could see that his hair was dyed black, tousled, mouse brown roots starting to show. His head was bent over something in his lap.
"Hi!" the other boy said eagerly. He was sitting across the aisle and had pushed back the armrests and stretched out across his two seats like a bed. He had longish wavy blond hair and cunning hazel eyes that peered out from under thick brown eyebrows that seemed to be constantly in motion as he talked, sometimes in chorus, other times wiggling independently like furry brown caterpillars.
"Nice to meet you! I'm Geoff." He spoke with a thick British accent. "That there's James. He's from New York. Really boring bloke. Barely said two words to me the whole trip. Met him on the plane. Want some peanuts?" He dove under the seats suddenly, rummaging through his knapsack.
"No thanks," Bobby said with a grin, "I had some on the plane."
"Oh right, then," Geoff said happily shredding his own packet of peanuts and tipping most of the contents into his mouth. "Only, I've got loads if you change your mind. Loads. Stewardesses took a shine too me, innat right Jamey?"
"It's James," the other boy replied flatly. "Not Jamey, or Jimmy, or Jim, or Jack or anything else." He glanced up and over his shoulder through the crack in the seats at Bobby. "And I think they gave him the peanuts with the hope that he couldn't talk and eat at the same time." He went back to studying whatever it was he had in his lap. "Pity it didn't work."
Geoff waggled his eyebrows across the aisle at Bobby as he crunched his peanuts noisily, a huge grin plastered across his face despite James' harsh words.
"What'd I tell yeh. Manky swot, inne? I like him."
Actually, there aren't enough verys to tell you how excited I am.
I found this little tidbit on FilmFodder and about burst into my very own rendition of the halleluja chorus. Then I remembered I was at work and curbed my enthusiasm.
May 5, 2005, folks.
That's how long you have to wait before The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Movie hits box offices.
I am so VERY excited! One only has to look at my user name to see the level of love I have for HHGTTG.
The project has been in the works for years -- literally years -- and then the author, Douglas Adams, passed away very suddenly. I personally thought all hope was lost when I read that he had sold the rights (before his passing, of course) to Disney.
But lo! As I was reading on one of the fan sites referenced in the FilmFodder article, Mr. Adams himself wrote the screenplay! It has undergone several rewrites, of course, but we can all hope and pray that it will remain true to his original intent which, according to the same site, includes new plot twists, new characters and so on.
So Don't Panic. It's really going to happen. REALLY!
Excuse me while I go do a little happy dance.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
"One of the few remaining pieces of the wall," Felix said, crossing to the fence that protected the wall, hooking his fingers in it. "I asked about it this morning."
Oscar joined him, eyes raking the ground in front of the wall, littered with detritus and rubbish, before rising to study the graffiti-scrawled cement.
"I remember the day it came down," Portia said. "My mom came into my room and told me to come see the news. I had no clue what it meant."
"Byron had a piece of it," Oscar said.
"Your mentor?" Felix asked.
"He said it reminded him that not everything man builds is sacred," Oscar chuckled. "Not that it ever served much purpose, since I don't think he ever tore anything down if he could help it, but the spirit was there."
"My tutors never mentioned it until it was already history," Felix said. "I didn't even know what the Berlin Wall was until it hadn't been anymore."
"Do you really think you could live in a city with a scar like this?" Oscar asked.
"It's only a scar," Felix shrugged.
From A Law Divine, Chapter 11 by Sam (aka: Copperbadge)
Lux Aeterna is my livejournal. I started it as a place to host HPatSotS, but it got a bit unweildy. Now it's a place for me to waffle on about all things fan fiction, post drabbles, and reccomend other peoples' fics that I like so that I don't have to do all that over here (you non-fic people can thank me later).
Virgin Insanity is for Dad's band. It's not really up and running yet, but it will be, so I went ahead and added the link while I was busy linking things.
link link link
SO! If you visit the web address, all that you'll see is a place holder (but it's a pretty fun placeholder, thanks to Bert's pdf), but I'll be sure to keep you updated as there is certain to be more to come. =D
Also, the domain came with 999 free email addresses, so if anyone wants to be email@example.com, just let me know. *snark!*
Keeping his wand firmly in his grasp, Malfoy pinned her shoulder against the wall. With his left hand he cupped her face, stroking the skin across her cheekbone with the ball of his thumb. His eyes never left hers as he bent towards her in a fluid motion and pressed his lips firmly against hers. She tried to turn away but he tightened his grip, pressing his fingers into her face, digging his nails into her cheek. He tasted like salt and licorice.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I bent my will like the orchid bends its stem- always towards the sun,
the sun that was my father.
"She reads the way she eats," Michael said disdainfully; "It's all junk
Privilege is a badge on your character. You earn it by performing to
the height of your talent in the towering chaos that is society.
He watched the scene unfold in front of him with growing horror, unable
to think past the abject revulsion, unable to act past the gape mouthed
staring, unable to reconcile the fact that the images he was seeing had
actually happened; he thought he might be sick.
If she had to smell the stale sausage miasma creeping quickly through
the office for one more second, she would surely vomit.
As quickly as the memory had come, it was gone, like a puff of twinkie
smoke up the ventahood in the chemistry classroom.
"It sprouts!" she said excitedly.
"I'm sorry, did you just use the word 'sprout' as a verb?" he regarded
her with empathetic caution, the way he would regard an old woman on
the street waiting for a bus three blocks away from the bus stop.
It is these thoughts that flash and return, flash and return, ever
present in the cobwebed corners of the forgotten rooms of our mind, yet
waiting, ever waiting, for the least opportune moment to flash and blind
us once again.
Have you ever seen a tiger stare at the box of animal crackers and
wonder what the hell has happened to society?
The bookshop smelled of age, of accumulated memory and thought, of
history boiled down and condensed to fill a page, of ink and dust and very
strongly of burnt coffee.
She wondered if it was strange that the symbol she equated with her
entire childhood was the squeak of her bedroom door. Her room was her
sanctuary, and no one entered it without her knowledge, thanks to that
squeak. It was the sound of that squeak that alerted her to his presence
on that fateful night three years ago.
What is there left to say when all the words have been spoken, the
letters rearranged, the syllables torn apart, until nothing remains of the
original meaning, and all that is left is the scattered, broken
detritus of a conversation gone horribly wrong?
Well, it got my gears a turning, so I wrote a very short (just barely over 2,000 words) story for the contest! I haven't posted it on any of the fan sites yet, as I'm not sure how the contest people would like that, but I have posted it over at my livejournal account (mainly because it's a lot easier to read over there than if I were to post it on this blog!).
Anyway, head on over and take a look at my interpretation of "The Death of the Greatest Wizard that Ever Lived."
P.S. I'll let you know if I win anything! =)
Monday, November 15, 2004
25 years later, my dad receives a phone call from a fellow Virgin Insanity member named Bob (no really, that's his real name). Dad hasn't talked to Bob in as many years, and is therefore not a little surprised to hear from him.
Turns out, a man has recently contacted Bob asking for permission to cut 1000 copies of Virgin Insanity's debut album on CD.
Now every once in a while, my dad (and apparently Bob as well) has gotten a call from some vinyl afficianado asking him to sell his copy(s) of the Virgin Insanity record because there are only a few that exist and they are collectors items.
This is not, however, the reason this particular man was calling.
In fact, he wants to make CDs of Virgin Insanity's record because apparently the band has quite a cult following.
Apparently, the guy tried to buy a tape of the record off of a fan in Japan and they would not sell it to him! Bob, however, agreed to the deal and has begun remixing the masters on his home computer!
Out of curiosity, I googled "Virgin Insanity," and here are the results I came up with:
Apparently, the song "Time of Sorrows Gone" is a regular on the Bill Zurat show (Sundays 2am-6am) on WFMU 90.1 FM, an indy station out of New York City.
The band is listed on the amazingly all-inclusive RockRom CD, which is apparently a database of every album from every band that ever existed... ever.
The album is also listed on many various LP "want lists," which, as far as I can tell, is a place for people to post albums they are looking for in the hopes that someone will have what they're looking for. Someone was even offering a 3rd or 4th generation tape of the album. Woah.
I also found this, which seems to confirm the Japanese cult following theory.
But I think the very best thing I found was this description from the Acid Archives:
Virgin Insanity Tx "Illusions of the maintenance man" 1972 (Funky 72411)
Obscure and still fairly unknown basement folk/folkrock with short songs and male/female vocals. Hard to describe accurately (always a good sign), though comparisons drawn to the third Velvet U LP are not without merit, esp as the lady vocalist seems as tonedeaf as Moe Tucker. The sound is disarmingly honest and stripped down, and indeed the concentrated minimalist vibe of the LP seems wholly deliberate. This is not for everyone, but I was impressed.
I think I need to learn how to say "rock star" in Japanese. =D
"It doesn't look very... hygienic," Michael said disapprovingly from the back seat of the rented BMW. He had ridden with his face pressed to the glass for most of the trip from the Denver airport, watching with unabashed awe as the land slipped away from the edge of the highway into deep narrow valleys studded with aspen and granite and pine. He had been eagerly awaiting his first glimpse of St. Jude's School for the Gifted where he would be going -- no, living -- for the next nine months; now that he'd seen it, however, he really rather wished that he could stay in the back seat when his mother and father turned the car around and headed back to Denver, and from there, back home.
"Nonsense," his father said with a chortle. "You're just saying that because it doesn't look exactly like that monolith of steel and concrete you called a junior high school. This place has got history..."
Michael wrinkled his nose. History should be stored carefully under glass and artfully back lit or distilled for consumption into book form. History, to his mind, did not include rambling ramshackle buildings, faded banners, or peeling coats of paint. He physically shuddered as he wondered which of the drafty looking tenements the dormitories were.
Actually, I didn't get up to a whole lot of shenanigans. I bought a pair of $58 jeans from the Gap -- which was a first for me -- and sang in an interfaith choral music festival.
I know how to party.
The music festival thing was pretty cool. It was seven different choirs from different faiths and traditions, and in between each one, a different speaker from various traditions. We all got together and sang one song as a big huge choir at the end, and the man who directed us all was ENORMOUS and treated us like a Junior high band. Probably because he was a junior high band director. Eh.
The most exciting part of the whole evening, however had to be when my choir got up to sing. We were pumpped. We were ready. We started to sing, and about three bars into the song, the pianist STOPPED PLAYING.
I wish you could have seen the director's face. I thought his eyes were going to pop right out of his head. But he kept directing, so we kept singing, and eventually, the pianist came back in with us.
Turns out the over zealous airconditioning in the Jewish temple we were singing in BLEW her music right off the piano. There was nothing she could do but stop, bend down, and pick it up!! Anyway, big kudos to us for a) not panicking, and b) not STOPPING!!! Luckily, the second song was accappella -- on purpose -- so we didn't have to worry. Thought the pianist would die from embarrassment!! =)
Brandon said we were still the best choir of the night, regardless.
Other than that, the only other big excitement of the weekend was going to see The Polar Express in 3D at the IMAX. Wow. Let me tell you, I'm sure it's a cute movie on the regular screen, but in 3D it will blow your mind. And be sure to sit near a group of kids, because it is indescribably precious to watch them all reach out and try to catch the falling train ticket. =)
Aside from the wicked 3D, the movie is generally cute. It's a bit thin on plot, but that's to be expected when you try to translate a 36 page picture book into a 90 minute movie. =)
I especially enjoyed the scene near the end when they're all waiting for Santa to show, and the elves start singing very slowly...
"You'd... better... watch... out..."
Felt oddly like a Phish concert or something, but I liked it. =)
Friday, November 12, 2004
But I think that we should just open up. Let it out, people! Repressing only gives you ulcers. Sing! Sing a song! Sing out loud! The whole day long!!!
Do you know why people like musicals? It's because, on some deep subconscious level, people are drawn to the idea of randomly breaking into song about everyday kinds of things: Oklahoma! Rent! Pirates! Secretly, many of us wish that our lives were like that. We long for the ability to break into song about how much we love our cats, or loathe our malfunctioning computers; we want to spontaniously errupt into perfectly choreographed dance routines with those we love, and even those we barely know. It is a deeply embedded genetic memory of a time when people who sang randomly in bathrooms, or malls, or in the workplace were not shunned as freaks or weirdos.
Did anyone see that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that was done as a musical? BRILLIANT! Granted, their sudden onslaught of musical and choreographic talent was the result of a suave yet undeniably maladjusted demon who liked to watch people burst into flames when they got a bit too excited about their solo number, but aside from the spontanious combustion bit, it seemed like a good deal to me! People were dancing and singing in the street! Picking up the dry cleaning became a valid excuse for bursting into song!
All I'm saying is that I think people in general would be a lot happier if they thought they could get down get down get down get down get down and boogie now and again without the social reprecussions we now know are there. Singing is good for you! It frees the mind and enlivens the soul!
So do yourself a favor, and sing to someone today. They'll look at you with an expression of mild perplexion and thank you for it.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Monday, November 08, 2004
I'm pleased to say that response to chapter 20 of HP and the S of the S has been really good so far! Two of the scenes were "fits of brilliance" scenes, and thus probably deserve the praise. *sigh* It's just too bad that I don't have more of those kinds of fits...
My weekend was much too short. Saturday I spent the entire morning rehearsing with the choir for our Requiem mass on Sunday, which came off brilliantly, I thought. But MAN OH MAN was there a lot of music!! We did six mass movements, two octavos, and three hymns! AND there was a solo at communion. A LOT of music. But it was lovely. David hired two cellos, one viola, one violin and an oboe, which really rounded things out nicely.
Brandon and Rebecca (a friend from work) agreed that Bach's "How Lovely is thy Dwelling Place" was their favorite. Ha! Brandon likes fugal pieces, and Baroque music in general, I think. =) Speaking of which, I was reading a HP fan fic called "The Harpsichordist" in which a Muggle music teacher is hired to teach at Hogwarts, and there was a lovely little tidbit where they talked about "the Bach effect" and how Bach's music was magic and taken directly from the substance and existence of nature and that sometimes, magical things happen when people play his music. I couldn't agree more.
Spent most of the rest of the day Saturday AND Sunday "working" on my original idea. Actually, I was just sort of pounding out ideas and trying to filter the flotsom out of my mental ramblings. Things are going well there, I think. I have three characters sketched, (and about three dozen to go) and I've already started thinking of scenes and so on. Haven't even begun with the teachers at the school yet -- just the students so far -- but I've got time. Heck, I've got nothing but time!!
Chapter 21 has moved into the revisions process. It's quite different from my other chapters, inspired by the brilliance of The Shoebox Project (particularly chapter one which made me laugh so hard I almost fell out of my chair -- literally). It should be a kick to see what people think of it.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I, for my small part, am helping her by blogging her progress for her at her new blog called Welcome to Lake Renner (and yes, my dear Brandon was inspiration for the name of the town).
I want to encourage all of you to go on over to Lake Renner and read what Allison has written and leave her a bit of encouragement. Writing is a tough thing to do, and writing 50,000 words in one month (which comes out to just under 2000 words per day) is a monumental challenge.
To put this in perspective, I write approximately 5,000 words per week, or one chapter. She is trying to do half of that in a single day -- every single day. It's a huge challenge, but one I'm sure she's up to.
More power to you, Allie, and to all the NaNo Writers out there!!
Am I discouraged? Am I disheartened or disenfranchised by this? No, I am not, and I will tell you why.
I did not have to worry about being blown up at the elementary school where I cast my ballot.
I did not have to worry about my ability to vote -- even thought I was apparently in the wrong precinct -- being challenged by poll watchers.
I did not have to wonder if I would be discriminated against, turned away, harassed, or threatened while voting based on my gender, race, creed, or political party.
I did not have to wonder if I had any hanging chads on my ballot.
Even if we do not have a clear winner when all the votes have been tallied in the wee hours of the morning, I will not have to worry that the country will fall into civil war. Regardless of who wins and who loses in the end, the transfer of power will be made peacefully and easily, which is the true measure of the success of our democracy.
On my way to work, more than an hour later than usual, and stuck in a horrendous traffic jam, I heard on NPR about a woman in Ohio. She is 103 years old and has voted in every election since women were granted the right to vote. She made me proud of the "I voted" sticker I am wearing.
If you haven't already, go out and vote. Vote your conscience, but vote. Now more than ever, every single vote counts and every single vote makes a difference. Even a voice that is stifled makes an impact. Better to speak and be heard by a few than not to be heard at all.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
You are the master of illusion, and today you're caught in the gray area between dreams and reality. Does it really matter if you can't tell what's real and what's not? At the very least this is good entertainment, and at the very most you'll learn something about yourself. You might have to clear away the cobwebs long enough to work or get some personal tasks accomplished, but feel free to spend the rest of your free time in a long, continuous, enlightening daydream.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody tuesday.
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.
Mister city policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row.
See how they fly like lucy in the sky, see how they run.
I'm crying, I'm crying.
I'm crying, I'm crying.
Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.
Sitting in an english garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don't come, you get a tan
From standing in the english rain.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.
Expert textpert choking smokers,
Don't you think the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snied. I'm crying.
Semolina pilchard, climbing up the eiffel tower.
Elementary penguin singing hari krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking edgar allan poe.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.
Goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob g'goo.
Monday, October 25, 2004
To Download, Click here.
Anywho, then we went to the fashion district and this place called Santee Alley where they sell knock-off EVERYTHING! Gucci sunglasses for five dollars! Prada purses, two for ten! Hee hee. Just because the G is backwards on the Gucci and Prada is spelled Padra... =) But it was fun. I bought a five dollar purse and Shelly got some sweaters. Then we wandered into the fabric district and I found a shop called BRIDAL WORLD and I bought a veil for $22!! I figure, if I find one I like better somewhere else, I'll sell this one on ebay or something, but $22 was too good a deal to pass up!! They also had all kinds of tiaras. I am very much a tiara kind of gal, but I think it might be too fancy for my dress. OOOOO! The bridal shop called last week and my dress came in EARLY! So I get to go pick it up this week. Lucky for me, Shelly said she would keep it at her house so that Brandon won't even have the opportunity to think about peeking at it. I already had to hide the photos from him! =D
Then we went over to Little Tokoyo because Shelly wanted to buy some Obi (those are the sashes they wear as belts around the kimono). So we wandered around down there for a bit, but by then Shelly's feet were about to fall off -- because she rather stupidly decided to wear high heeled boots! -- so we called it a day. Nice!
Then Brandon took me out for dinner and a movie, and we saw "Shall We Dance" with J.Lo and Richard Gere -- his choice! I was shocked. =) It was kind of cute, and I hope it will inspire him not to complain too much when I insist on dancing lessons before our wedding. Hee hee.
Actually, when Emily was here, we were talking about whether they wanted to do the whole formal dance thing where the groom dances with all the bridesmaids, and Emily asked him what they would dance to, and without missing a beat he replied, "Pretty Fly for a White Guy." Hahahahahaha! So now she has her heart set on it and he's regretting that he ever opened his mouth, and at the same time wondering where he can get a copy of the music video for choreography inspiration. Ha! I can't wait.
Wow! How did this turn into a wedding update?? Oh well. I guess that's what happens when it's on my mind. We went to Santee Alley hoping I could find some wedding shoes, but they were all too hoochie for me. =) Just have to keep looking.
Friday, October 22, 2004
According to the World Rock-Paper-Scissors Society (no, really) the answer is no. The Society keeps careful track of how popular moves are in their annual International World RPS Tournament (again, really).
Sometimes, after a pop culture reference to RPS, a certain move will see a small spike in popularity, but generally -- according to the RPS Society -- world class players rely more on strategy than on a single move to defeat their opponents.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Like falafel and the number "0," nougat is a product of Middle Eastern genius.
The creamy goodness of chocolate bar fame was originally a mixture of honey, nuts and spices. It migrated southeast a bit to Greece where it lost the spices and became known as "nugo."
But it didn't become the candy-lover's dream that we know today until the French decided to put their own spin on it, bastardizing the name to "nougat," switching the ground walnuts for almonds, and adding the secret ingredient -- beaten egg whites -- to achieve that cloud of ooey gooey goodness that we know and love.
Of course, if the only nougat you're familiar with comes in a Snickers bar or a Russel Stover multi-pack, you've only tasted the chewier, less almond-y second cousin to true nougat. The best of the stuff only comes from Montelimar, France and is good enough to make even a French candy maker swoon.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
It wasn't much later that Q-Link changed its name to America Online and premeired AOL 1.0 with Edwards' phrases. Countless versions and permutations later, Elwood Edwards' voice is about the only thing still the same about the AOL online service.
If you are a fan of Mr. Edwards' work, he has his own website now where you can order custom phrases for your PC. Maybe he can say, "Pop culture icon."
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
These are some of those questions...
BURNING QUESTION #1: What makes No. 2 pencils so darn special?
The number system of rating pencils refers to the hardness of the graphite and was invented by 18th century pencil maker Nicolas-Jacques Conte. No. 1 pencils have very soft graphite which means that they smudge easily. No. 3 pencils and above have much harder graphite, making them useful for drafting and other applications where you need a firm, strong point.
No. 2 pencils, however, have been determined to be the most useful graphite weight for general writing, being not too hard, not too soft, but just right.
(Adapted from Mental_Floss)
Thursday, October 14, 2004
And lo, the fair maid Allison, did toil
At foot of paper mountains high and wide
And all through land of Hummers and of Saabs,
The service techs could hear her baleful cries.
"Why?" she sobbed, "As paper mountains grew,
did not the perpetrator of this loathsome mess
begin to undertake to remedy
his deeds so that my filing might be less??"
But ne'er did any speak the traitor's name
Nor deem to pity Allie in her plight.
And though she filed all throughout the day,
Her toils lasted well into the night.
"Have mercy!" our fair maiden did protest
"And someone free me from my paper chains!"
Yet still our heroine was made to toil
Although her strength had long begun to wane.
At length the managers and salesmen too
Did venture forth to check on Allison
But our fair maiden's trials now were through.
Her suffering from files at last was done.
They found her lying prone amidst the piles
Of VIN numbers and service tickets there.
Her face and hands were scarred by cuts of paper,
And there were bits of paper in her hair.
Poor Allison had fled this mortal coil
Instead of being shackled to the piles,
And though no one believed it could be true,
she proved one can be killed by endless files.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
And all I could think of was the little talking butter dishes.
Allison Says: When we were in second or third grade Tori and I would carry on entire conversations as the talking butter tubs. The only word we said was “Parkay”
We cracked each other up and pretty much annoyed everyone else around us.
Lacy Says:The really funny part about this story is that it actually was a message from Parkay – as in, the butter people.
How on god’s green earth did I get on a mailing list for Parkay?? I don’t even BUY IT!!
Allison Says: That’s creepy.
I never trusted those talking butter tubs…
Friday, October 08, 2004
Writing can be a terrifying process. If you're writing something that you ever intend to let anyone else read, writing can be as nerve wracking as public speaking, as soul-baring as acting, as emotional as singing. Writing is not for the faint of heart. And you cannot do it simply to please an audience -- at least, not well.
I was looking at the web site of one of my favorite fan fic authors, who is also currently my personal hero, and he said that he doesn't write to be read. He writes because there is nothing else for him to do; it isn't a choice, it's a calling. He says:
"If I were locked in solitary confinement for years on end with paper and pens enough to last me, I'd probably be all right. Unhappy, but sane. If I had no books and nothing with which to write, I imagine I'd end up sitting in my little cell telling stories to the walls. It's not that I require an audience so much as I have to put the thoughts somewhere -- I don't care if anyone ever reads them, so long as they're there."
That's the kind of freedom I wish I had with my writing. That's who I was at three years old, in the photograph my mother gave me. I am sitting on our front porch at the old house wearing an old Halloween costume over my regular clothes, with purple shoes on, my bear clutched in one hand, a short stick in the other, singing to myself and narrating little stories in which I was always the protagonist. I never needed an audience back then. I was my own audience; I contained whole worlds of people and places and things in my head, and my imagination was limitless and effortless and free.
Somewhere along the way, I lost that freedom that comes from not needing anyone's approval but your own. Now I find myself lost in worry that something I've written isn't good enough, isn't spectacular enough, isn't original enough or engaging enough or flashy enough. Enough for what? For whom? Even my own private journal that I write in by hand that no one but me is ever allowed to see, I sometimes censor because it isn't "good" enough. Why? Shouldn't my own thoughts be good enough for me?
I think that's why the NaNo WriMo concept intrigued me. Could I do it? Could I churn out 50,000 words and if they were crap, let them be crap? I'm not sure. I'm constantly rewriting. Revising. Even this blog will be reread and revised. My current "novel writing schedule" is to write and write and write, whenever I can, but to take one chapter per week, and spend the whole week -- in between the new writing and "real" life -- to edit and revise it. I send it to my beta reader and my brit-picker and they edit it and send it back and I look it over and make changes and send it to them again. I try to get it to a point that I'm happy with it by the end of the week so that I can publish it on the fan fic websites on Friday, in time for the onslaught of weekend readers. Because I'm vain and I like the praise. =)
That seems to work well for me, but I'm not sure I could move forward with the writing without going back to reread and revise. When I get stuck, I go back and read what I've written before. And when I read what I've written before, I inevitably change it.
Now I'm going to go post this without rereading. Ok, well, I'm not sure I can do that... Maybe I'll reread it and just not make any changes. I'm not sure I can do that, either... =)
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
[B]Where was your character born?[/B]
[B]What age will your character be during your story? [/B]
[b]How old does s/he appear?[/b]
[B]So is your character a pureblood, mixedblood, muggleborn, muggle, squib
or whatever? [/B]
[B]Who are your character's parents and siblings? What's his/her
relationship with them like? [/B]
[B]Is your character in a relationship? [/B]
[B]What is his/her strongest subject in school? Weakest?[/B]
[B]Does your character have any pets?[/B]
[B]What is your character wearing?[/B]
[B]Favorite food/color/swearword? (just for fun )[/B]
[B]Favorite kind of music?[/B]
[B]Favorite things to do?[/B]
[b]Optimistic or pessimistic?[/b]
[b]Shy or bold?[/b]
[b]Extroverted or introverted?[/b]
[b]Practical or dreamer?[/b]
[b]Leader or follower?[/b]
[b]Neat or sloppy?[/b]
[B]What is your character most likely to get their name in the newspaper for
[B]What qualities does she value in others? [/B]
[B]How would she get along with the character posted before her? [/B]
[B]What was their top career choice as a child?[/B]
[B]How many times a day on average do they laugh? [/B]
[B]Scenario: Someone who your character would never date approaches him/her
on the street and offers a number, or a motel room. How does your OC react?
Shrug him/her off? With humour? With Murder? [/B]
[b]How does your character act when s/he's angry? Sad? Very happy?[/b]
[b]What makes him/her climb the walls?[/b]
[B]What is the first impression anyone might get, upon meeting your OC? [/B]
[B]What's her/his dirty little secret?[/B]
[B]Who was their idol as a child? [/B]
[B]What are your character's flaws?[/B]
[B]Now name some things your character is good at.[/B]
[B]Give a quote from your character, something that expresses her/his
[B]What would/do the trio think of your character and vice versa?[/B]
[B]What has been you character's biggest disappointment in life so far?[/B]
[B]What does your character consider their biggest achievement in life?[/B]
[B]What does your character deem to be the most important part of their
[B]Does your character believe in the existence of one true soulmate for
[B]A museum is burning and there is only time time to save one thing: an old
woman or a Rembrant. Which does your character chose?[/B]
[B]What is you characters favourite season? Why? [/B]
[B]What do they feel guilty about doing?[/B]
[B]If they looked into the Mirror of Erised what would they see?[/B]
[B]What is his/her worst memory (dementor)? [/B]
[B]Where would they most like to go on holiday?[/B]
[B]Who is their ideal partner?[/B]
[B]Which famous person would they have a poster of on their wall?[/B]
[B]What is the number one thing they complain about?[/B]
[B]What would make them smile on a bad day?[/B]
[B]What one thing would they change about their appearance/personality?[/B]
[B]What would your character think about, trying to perform the patronus
[B]Would s/he be more likely to appear in a slash romance or a het romance
[B]How much magical skill does your character have -- more like Neville or
[B]What would your character die for? [/B]
[B]If your character would lie on the stand, would (s)he incriminate an
innocent stranger to save his/her guilty mother/father? [/B]
[B]What makes your character lose sleep at night?[/B]
[B]Your character can change one aspect of his or past. What does (s)he
[B]If your character died at this moment of development, would (s)he linger
as a ghost or move on? [/B]
[B]What is your character's Super Motive? What drives them more than
[B]What is the point of your character in this story? After all, it's
useless to introduce an OC unless they have a purpose. What role are they
going to play? What are they going to do?[/B]
[B]What keeps your character from being a Mary/Gary S(t)ue? What do you
worry might be Sue-ish about your character?[/B]