Saturday, January 01, 2005


While reading an online forum about novel writing, someone said that their pet peeve was archaic (quote: "big, olden day" words) language, such as (and this is a quote: "Where for out though or whatever"). I can only presume they meant "wherefore art thou," from Romeo and Juliet.

Which made me think of something. I wonder how many people know that "wherefore" actually means "why"? Juliet is not asking where Romeo is -- she's asking why Romeo is who he is...that is, why he's a Montague, and therefore supposed to be her mortal enemy.

The actual line is, "Romeo, Romeo -- wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet." (That is my own punctuation -- but I am the person who out-Shakespeare-quoted the Evil Leprechaun. ;-) In other words, you can be fairly certain of the words, if not the commas. :-)

Basically, Juliet says, "Romeo, why are you you? Renounce your family -- but if you won't, just promise you'll love me and I'll renounce my family."

Just a mini-lesson from someone who was (a) horrified that a wannabe writer couldn't at least render the quote somewhat accurately and (b) thinking of all the kids in all the sitcoms that phrase that line as if they're looking for poor-missing-Romeo.

Oh -- and there's going to be a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy move -- which I don't much care about, except that that was the first computer game I ever played, on my dad's 8088, in which game play consisted of typing "walk to the window" and reading the computer's description of what you saw out there. And you always brought your razor, or something, from your shaving kit to the pub, 'cause you'd need it...or something....

Happy New Year

The optimistic, ever-hopeful, probably most realistic version:

Here's to a happy, healthy, peaceful, natural-disaster-free, prosperous New Year!

The fan-girl-nerd uptopian version:

Here's to a
  • happy,
  • healthy, peaceful,
  • natural-disaster-free,
  • honest-politician,
  • scientifically significant,
  • we-launch-a-shuttle-again,
  • announcement-of-the-X-Prize-2:-Fly-To-the-Moon,
  • we-cure-everything,
  • everyone-is-valued-for-who-they-are,
  • everyone-has-equal-rights,
  • we-truly-respect-and-not-just-tolerate-others
New Year.

The teacher/sister version:

Here's to a New Year where everyone is valued for all their abilities (even if it's the ability to sneak out of the classroom and run really fast! :-)), and where the rights, dignity, and worth of persons with disabilities becomes so commonplace that people don't even understand why it used to be an issue.

Friday, December 31, 2004

The Pit of Despair...

...or, possibly, desperation.

I've taken to reading some online newsgroups again, now that I have an account that actually subscribes to a fair number of them.

So, whilst browsing alt.startrek.creative, having exhausted all the worthwhile conversation on, I did a...well...a scary thing.

I first found alt.startrek.creative when I ventured online during my freshman year of college, during the Debate About Debating About Debating About Debating About Slash.

This is not what is scary.

What is scary is that I found an Enterprise story.

What's more scary is that I read it.

What's even more scary is that I {tries to hang head and hide at the same time} liked it.

It was cute.

It was a Trip/T'Pol story...and she even sounded halfway Vulcan.

Real Vulcan, I mean -- not the caricatures that they became on Enterprise, though Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens have helped some.

But all that aside, the fact remains that I found, read, and enjoyed an Enterprise story.

To quote from, I think, Babylon 5 fandom of my freshman year of college, as long as I'm being nostalgic...

Ye gods and little fishes....

(Happy New Year, by the way.)

Yeah, I'm Babbly and Random Today

For lack of anything else, I'm watching a history channel biography of Eva Braun -- which would normally be fascinating (I have a probably unhealthy fascination with World War II), except that I've seen it about 10 times, not the least of which was the second half of it earlier tonight.

But I did notice two things -- one part of the score sounded suspiciously like the instrumental part of a Disney song that I don't remember now (I'm sure I'll think of it later); and the second sounded like part of the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey -- in the part with the ape men, but not "Thus Spake Zarathustra."

By the way -- that movie makes a lot more sense if you've read the book first, and I may just pop it in the DVD player now.

Of course, after seeing The Peacekeeper Wars, I will never again view the hotel room in the same way again (that is, without seeing Harvey on the bed :-p).

Thursday, December 30, 2004


Whatever you think of (the whole independent bookstore vs. you-can-buy-it-all-here thing), this is cool.

When I checked yahoo news a while ago, the death toll was at 117,000. I just looked again and it was 119,000.

One hundred and nineteen thousand people.

I think it registers more when you write it out in words -- when it's numbers, it's more abstract.

If you really don't like amazon, I'm sure the Red Cross will take donations directly -- in fact, I know they do, because I did so after September 11th, and again after hurricane Frances.

Having lived through the Northridge earthquake, a mere 6.7 that knocked out power in the San Fernando Valley for a week, I can't imagine what it's doing to islands without the infrastructure to handle even that, let alone the tsunami that followed....

Of course

Naturally, one would think to look in one's pillowcases for one's cell phone.


Oh -- and the call was a wrong number....


So, my cell phone is buzzing a reminder (probably a voice mail) at me about every two minutes.

The problem is, that while I can hear said vibrating, and while I can feel said vibrating...

...I can't find the flippin' thing anywhere.

And, I don't even know the number, 'cause it's a new cell phone, so I can't call myself to follow the rings to the phone.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


A totally random comment, utterly unrelated to the more serious post below.

Angel and Cordelia were just totally cute together.

If you don't know who either of those are, you don't care. If you do, and you disagree...sorry. If you do, and you agree...yay!


Yahoo! News - Tsunami Death Toll Soars Past 77,000

Yahoo! News - Tsunami Death Toll Soars Past 77,000

I've been watching this progress on the Internet -- haven't been watching the news because Patrick still has an earthquake phobia (as in, he won't even say the word) -- and I felt compelled to comment.

But now that I've started the blog entry -- I'm not sure there are words for this.

I'm not sure anyone can truly conceive of seventy-seven thousand life stories ending. I'm not sure, really, that you can make that number mean anything other than a-freaking-lot-of-people. Except that these were men, women, children...people who had hopes, dreams, memories, good and bad times, plans for the future -- everything you and I have. They might have been different plans for the future; in some cases, they might have been simpler memories....

But there you have it.

They were people -- that I had never met only because of a trick of geography, or of birth, that caused me to be born here and they to be born there.

Meanwhile, I try to conceptualize the sheer number of lives that have been lost this week, and I remember a simple quote: "The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own; you are he."

Even that doesn't do the sheer number of lives lost justice, and I really don't think there are words....

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Rain Storms

Those of you who know me know that I love driving. One of the hardest things to get used to after injuring my ankle was how hard it was to drive, since I have no vehicles that have functioning cruise controls.

Yesterday, my mom, brother, and I drove up to the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, to have lunch in their coffee shop (my mom and dad used to go there every year for their anniversary, except for the year I inconveniently was born, quite early, 3 days before their anniversary, and until several years after I was born, likely due to my dad opening his alarm business).

In any event, I volunteered to drive part of the way back because I know my way around Santa Barbara better and wanted to stop at the huge Borders there (Merry Christmas to me!). Well, we hit the north end of the storm on the way back; we'd stopped in Santa Maria for gas, and it wasn't until I got off the freeway at Carrillo in SB that I was even able to open the soda I bought -- not because of the rain, but because of the wind...yikes.

In other news -- there's a video of Julia Ecklar's (well, written by Leslie Fish, but sung most famously by Julia Ecklar) "Hope Eyrie!" Written to commemorate the Apollo moon landing, the song is a gorgeous tribute to the feeling of wonder that folks, especially the scientifically inclined, must have felt, knowing that human feet had, for the first time in all of recorded history, set foot on the rock and soil of another planet.

(It's more than thirty years later, and we can't even get a flippin' shuttle off the ground, which is sad....) Not that I don't feel for the families of the crew of Challenger and Columbia, but they're not the first to have died to explore space -- and certainly not the first to have died in the pursuit of exploration.

Wow, that got philosophic...sorry.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Sunday, December 26, 2004


So, I'm about a third of the way through one of my new books, The Timeships by Stephen Baxter. Very, very good. I'm loving it so far.

Also, I preordered the next Harry Potter book. Hopefully, they'll do the same thing and ship it so it arrives the day it gets to bookstores, like they did with The Order of the Phoenix.

I've been having domain name issues, so I used my webspace that comes with my DSL service to put up a bare bones version of my site -- just the stories and wallpapers. I have a new Lord of the Rings one called "The Bravest Thing." It's my favorite graphic I've done so far. Enjoy.