Saturday, November 30, 2002

I Survived Thanksgiving!

Well, my relatives have just now departed, and my house is all my own again... The whole Thanksgiving thing did seem to go reasonably well, except for the fact that either my oven wasn't getting hot enough or the turkey was more frozen than we thought it was or (most likely) some combination of both, resulting in the damned bird taking a staggering seven hours to cook. Thank goodness we started it early! The end results were good, though, and I now have more leftovers than I have any remote hope of consuming.

I also have the early Christmas present my mother brought me: a new TV! Note that I didn't exactly ask for a new TV. When she asked me what I wanted for Christmas, what I said was "Actually, I need to buy a new TV, so if you wanna just give me some cash to put towards it, that would be great." But she found a great deal on a 27" TV, apparently, so it made the trip out with her. I'm not complaining! Although it does turn out that the darned thing's just a smidge too big to fit into my entertainment center, so I now have to go and get a new one (er, entertainment center, that is, not TV), which is going to mean rearranging my living room all over again. Nothing is ever easy...

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family-types should be showing up sometime this evening (since they'll likely be in kinda late, we're going to do the turkey thing tomorrow instead) and will be hanging around through Saturday, so you might not see any blogging from me for a couple of days. (There ya go! Something to be thankful for!)

Have a great holiday, those of you who celebrate it, and don't forget to save room for pie!

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

If You're Looking for Places to Waste Time on the Internet...

...then you can entertain yourself for hours just following the links on this site. If you're not looking for places to waste time on the internet, you can still entertain yourself for hours by following the links, but you'll feel guilty about it afterwards.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

The Weirdest Episode Guide Ever

Armed with a random poetry generator, I unleash myself upon an unsuspecting World Wide Web! After brutally savaging my own blog site, I turn my evil text-mangling weapon upon a hapless series of Farscape episode transcripts. The result: Farscape Season Four... in verse!

Don't worry, the results aren't remotely coherent enough to contain spoilers. Actually, some of these came out pretty darned funny, if you ask me. Though I'm more than a little worried about the poem-generator program's apparent Chiana-in-bondage fetish. (Oh, man the search engine hits I'm gonna get from that one!)

I'm tempted to go on and do the rest of the series. Or possibly Blake's 7. But this really is way more than enough excitement for one evening...

Anyway, here ya go. Enjoy!

"Crichton Kicks"

Crichton Just
so few SIKOZU as a
second is using the beard, and
white light pouring
out of
the beast bounces
toward Sikozu;
The your capacity for...
others. Satisfied, she flees
across the toubray flesh,
I... knew where GRUDEK He
runs across an mp3 version of the fall. JOHN She
pursues him is dragged backward,
and cut back he picks up
Hello? PILOT snap to.

"What Was Lost Part 1: Sacrifice"

What the old woman
JOHN What looks
over, this planet.
The voices. quiet A
thundering explosion, of it. And coughs. Jool stands
and can and cycles.

"What Was Lost Part 2: Resurrection"

What we have JOHN Prying his
shoulder for
the bars. JOOL quietly
dropping from his
and Grayza, angry glance
JOHN O.S.] over the old woman
barely taking the
surf rolls them Chiana at the
seat, behind the short tunnel
the faulty weapon. in
the dark ship,
They JOHN tries to where the top John
spotting in
direction, and nose he does not make
it toward her, shoulder.


Promises She lies in the
harsh blue tinged with four. or I leave
Moya COMMAND COMMAND filling the
head to She be killed. her!
legs ULLOM disrupting it
Sometime shortly
John not remember? nothing A
silencer on
him. at the blue nebula.

"Natural Election"

Natural selection. NORANTI No, notebook. JOHN
a close
enough finally to some kinda weird
plant, Celebration frozen for Officer Sun
Astonishing as she grabs Rygel on top
of Arms. before have spoken word

"John Quixote"

John O.S.] he
pushes the top [pulse rifle.
Turning away from bound Chiana Up... for arns!
bound Chiana and tie, quite getting
up, dazed.

"I Shrink, Therefore I Am"

I love the hamman side. on the
suckers. AERYN exhibit signs
that he understand 1812, on
whatever got no one hand against the
armor. encasing his
keypad, and forth, tiny
Aeryn Crichton, how did you
RYGEL his feet, and we
get to the
door SCORPIUS arms open doorway.
close on the bottom of
light and the red indicator lights switch to the pulse
rifle skating away
bleeding no but
seen JOHN Well, have been ordered
your crewmates.

"A Prefect Murder"

A dozen clansmen saw
the back to kill PAROOS [hovering just above
him, John a gloved hands His side...
and Aeryn lying sprawled unconsious on his side,
of the
table. watching his chin
and and harsh-- but to,
Sikozu drops out of many How many people
ZERBAT to that. means Prefect
Falaak You back
and Sikozu on green
winged bug on the market, toward through
his killer brought them John ZERBAT
And she... sits
and driving him
to stand. close behind Sikozu By two
pulse fire. but
oh and AERYN lifts the device She
walks away. [

"Coup by Clam"

Coup to cure whoever it
will give
Perhaps when this
AERYN No. longer than dancing.
Interrogations. Long, time
THE authorities. SCORPIUS
having descended the
moment CHIANA As your scream off
power Yeah! and have their fingers.

"Unrealized Reality"

Unrealized reality. verison of the pier, JOHN takes
hold of his feet. appears younger than fear
is there before?
DK We mean I know...
if coming, I get us down, the
control console. beside him. bodily toward the
wide embraces John.

Lord Help Us, I've Been Playing with the Random Poety Generator Again

Maximum Verbosity Random recently from myself,
but the stolen toy has fallen
into, that
I can. we traced the
Prime Directive, That in
and do without even know really
think much of them,
and then I actually exist. I
did teach him Within seconds he said
We have the
just ordered six additional scripts
for Halloween costume boobs: Hmm, if you know,
the intergalactic law enforcer shouted: Buzz Lightyear . . . to
The Toy from myself, but afraid I just in
the VCR to my uncle,
who simply lacks the atom.

How very profound. Don't you think?

This Is How Much of a Lame Fangirl I Am...

I just ordered the Farscape cookbook. Well, you know, the money does go to a good cause.

Don't look at me like that! Saving Farscape is a good cause!

I wonder what "Braca's Brownies" actually taste like?

Monday, November 25, 2002

Eitak Nos Nhoj?

I've just watched the first episode on my first Alien Nation DVD, and I must say, I'm impressed all over again by how well this show managed to use its science-fictional premise to address the real-life issues of racism, immigration, and cultural assimilation without ever making the oh-so-common TV mistake of oversimplifying a complex issue for the sake of making a tidy moral point. They also get major points for avoiding a pitfall nearly every other SF TV show has fallen into, that of characterizing alien species with simple stereotypes. Vulcans are logical, Klingons are aggressive, etc., etc., but the Tenctonese are just people, as diverse and unpredictable as we humans. Which is, of course, a large part of the point.

Unfortunately, as happy as I am to have the series on DVD (or at least, to have made a start at collecting the series on DVD), there is one annoying side effect: I've now got the theme song firmly stuck in my head. It's either very impressive or else slightly disturbing -- I can't quite decide which -- that I actually know all the lyrics to the theme song, considering that they're in a completely alien language. But having them looping over and over in my head without even knowing what they mean is driving me crazy! I did some looking around on the web to see if I could find a translation, but as far as I can tell, such a thing doesn't actually exist. I did discover a FAQ on the show that informs me that the person who wrote the lyrics generated them by spelling the names of his wife and daughter backwards. Gee, you really do learn something new every day...
I'm Thankful That I Don't Have to Clean the Bathtub Again for a While

How was your weekend? I spent most of mine house-cleaning.

Amazingly enough, it seems that I'm going to be hosting Thanskgiving at my house this year. This is completely unprecedented; to date, my role has always been to go and mooch off of other people on Thanksgiving.

It just so happens, though, that my uncle, who is in the Air National Guard, is in Albuquerque at Kirtland AFB at the moment for some kind of special training. Since I didn't get to see him when I was in New Jersey -- in fact, he left to come out here only a day or two before I got there -- I thought it'd be nice to get together with him while he's in my neck of the woods. My mom, who hasn't seen her little brother for a while, either, thus came up with the following plan: she and my stepfather are going to drive out here from California, hook up with my uncle, and then all descend upon me for Thanksgiving. Mom's even offered to bring the turkey and do the cooking, so I say, hey, bring it on!

But it does kind of mean that I had to clean the house. And I'm one of those people who simply lacks the ability to notice dirt. (This is generally viewed as an affliction unique to guys, but then, I've long suspected myself of missing a few crucial genes on that second X-chromosome. Like the Fashion Sense Gene.) This means that my house after it's been cleaned more-or-less approximates the state of most other people's houses -- or at least, most other women's houses -- when they're first starting to think, "Man, does this place really need cleaning!" But I figure as long as my guests don't run screaming at the sight of the bathroom, I'm cool.

I guess we'll see whether that happens or not.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

'Cause I Got Nothin' Else to Blog About, How About More Wacky Search Requests?

From the last month or so:

  • +Tranquilizer +Dart +Giles: Obviously from a participant in the Wild Librarian Capture and Release Program.

  • naked Halloween costume pictures: Gee, I really don't think it's much of a Halloween costume if you're naked...

  • Trailer Trash Halloween Costume: Sigh. Can we just quit it with the "trailer trash" stereotype, please?

  • "best Halloween costume" boobs: Hmm, if I go as boobs for Halloween next year, d'you think I can win "best costume," too?

  • Aeryn Twiddle: My first thought was that someone was looking for a description of the Farscape character twiddling her thumbs or something, but it turns out there's actually an actress named Aeryn Twidle (with one "d"!), and, yes, she does spell her first name the same as Aeryn Sun's. You learn something new every day.

  • weird blog test: Did I pass?

  • Friday, November 22, 2002

    Firefly Still Flying!

    According to the latest mailing, "FOX. . . has ordered six additional scripts for Firefly and added two episodes to its episode order. Fox supposedly was very happy with the latest episode to air, Ariel, and is willing to give the show a chance to find an audience." Yay! As I've mentioned before, I'm really liking Firefly, and the more I see of it, the better I'm liking it. I just wish it was on tonight...
    Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue!

    A friend of mine in the UK sent me a copy of this recent newspaper article, and I just had to share:

    Hero Buzz Lightyear blows thief's cover
    By Nick Britten
    (Filed: 19/11/2002)

    A thief hiding in bushes after stealing a Buzz Lightyear toy from a shop was caught after it blurted out one of its catchphrases.

    Police with a sniffer dog were about to give up the chase when the intergalactic law enforcer shouted: "Buzz Lightyear . . . permission to engage."

    Shaun Markey, 27, knew the game was up when the sniffer dog ran to his hiding place and began growling at him. Within seconds he was under arrest. Markey, 27, stole the £26.99 toy, the space ranger hero of the Toy Story films, from Woolworths in Hereford.

    When the store's security tag set off the alarms, staff chased him down the street and the police were called. Sgt Tim Powell, who led the search, said: "We traced the offender to an area near a bridge but were having difficulty finding him. Then Buzz Lightyear joined in and Markey's cover was blown."

    Sgt Powell said the arrest was a success for a new initiative set up in Hereford linking shops to the police via walkie-talkies. "This time, though, we had the assistance of an intergalactic super-hero."

    The stolen toy has eight phrases, including "I'm Buzz Lightyear . . . I come in peace" and "Buzz Lightyear to the rescue".

    Markey, from Hereford, appeared before the town's magistrates on Friday and admitted theft. He was given bail and will be sentenced next month.

    He said yesterday: "I was a good way ahead of them and I hid in some hedges with the toy in my bag while the police and the sniffer dog looked around for me.

    "I heard one of the police say, 'He's got away, let's forget it.' Then I must have pushed the button on the toy. When the sniffer dog came over to me and started growling, I just stood up.

    "At the police station the police kept making fun of me. I felt like such an idiot. If it had not been for Buzz Lightyear, I would definitely have escaped."

    Buzz is so my hero!

    Thursday, November 21, 2002


    Apparently, I live in the stupidest state in the US. (Thanks to The Soap Box for bringing this dubious distinction to my attention.) And here I thought I was just imagining the fact that I'm surrounded by idiots...

    Wednesday, November 20, 2002


    I managed to miss Buffy again. I set the VCR to tape it yesterday. I know I set the VCR to tape it. The VCR didn't tape it. I hate technology! Not that I could do without it, I suppose. I mean, I could go live in a cave and amuse myself with shadow puppets instead of TV, but I'm pretty sure I'd go crazy within a fortnight. Still... Sigh.

    Tuesday, November 19, 2002

    Yes, We Have No Sims Skins

    For some reason, I've been getting a lot of hits recently from people looking for Sims stuff. Sorry, guys. I don't have any Sims skins on this site! I'd post a link to some of the sites where I've downloaded them from myself, but I'm afraid I don't actually remember where I got any of them, and I'm sure you can google for 'em just as well as I can. I also don't have any downloadable objects, cheat codes, technical advice, or gameplay hints. Well, OK, if you want a hint, here's a hint: Buy the expensive toilet. That extra hit of "comfort" is well worth the expense.

    I do hope that piece of sage advice made your trip to this humble blog worthwhile. Happy Simming, O intrepid searcher of the web!
    I Don't Care If Captain Archer Invented the Prime Directive, That Was Just Silly

    Still working on getting caught up on all the stuff I taped while I was gone last week. I just watched the most recent Enterprise episode, in which Archer and Malcolm are captured by the military while doing some sight-seeing on a pre-warp planet. And can I just say: sheesh? I mean, OK, these military guys -- oh, and I suppose this counts as a spoiler, so if you actually care, be warned -- have got the two of them, they've examined all their fancy Starfleet gadgets, and they've run medical tests on Our Heroes and noticed little things like the fact that, oh, their blood's the wrong color. Not being completely stupid, these guys put two and two together and come up with the obvious answer. Now, if I were Archer, I'd have been willing to admit at this point that the jig was up. OK, guys, you've got me. It's a fair cop. We're from outer space. Can we have our communicators back? We'd like to phone home. But, nope, not our brainy Starfleet boys! Instead, they spin some cockamamie story about how they're genetically engineered soliders with experimental prototype weapons. Oh, yeah! Way to avoid contaminating their culture, dudes! Make them think that their enemies have super energy weapons and military-application genetic engineering technology way beyond anything currently known on the planet! Right. By the way, did I mention the highly unstable political situation on this world? Yeah. Great. Now these guys are doubtless gonna go into paranoid first-strike mode and nuke their enemies into oblivion just as soon as they figure out how to split the atom. And it shouldn't have taken T'Pol to point this out (long after the rest of us figured it out and even longer after the point where it could have done any good). You know, it's really just not a good thing for a TV show when the writers are obviously going for a reaction of "Aww, they're willing to give their lives to protect this society from contamination! How noble!" and instead getting "God, what a pair of idiots! Maybe they should be hanged before they do any more damage to the galaxy!"

    Blog Housekeeping

    For the record, just in case anybody cares, I've deleted several defunct blogs from the links. I've also added my Dad's blog page, which I didn't even know he had until he asked me for help in adding an e-mail link to it. There isn't much of anything there at the moment, but I did teach him some basic HTML[*], so now he's armed and dangerous. Blog on, Dad!

    [*] The only kind of HTML I know.

    Monday, November 18, 2002

    Because There Is a Never-Ending Supply of Silly Quizzes Out There, And I Feel the Need to Take 'Em All...

    "God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience of his prosperity he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity he would be senseless."
    You are Augustine!
    You love to study tough issues and don't mind it if you lose sleep over them. Everyone loves you and wants to talk to you and hear your views, you even get things like "nice debating with you." Yep, you are super smart, even if you are still trying to figure it all out. You're also very honest, something people admire, even when you do stupid things.

    What theologian are you?
    A creation of Henderson

    I like to think that's accurate! Well, you know, except for that whole religion thing.
    I've Got a Lot of TV-Viewing to Catch Up On, As Well As All That E-Mail...

    I just watched last week's episode of Buffy, which I taped while I was gone, and damn, but it's nice to see yet another example of how much that show impresses me. This one went back and forth from shivers-down-your-back creepy to laugh-out-loud funny to lump-in-your-throat sad, all in the space of one episode. Definitely makes me glad I decided to start watching the 7th season eps, although I really do wish I'd started earlier. I think this one would have been even more effective if I'd had a bit more background. Still, it looks like I've tuned in just in time for really big things to start developing. I'll be looking forward to seeing tomorrow's episode!

    Meanwhile, I've still got an Enterprise and a Firefly to watch... I think I need a vacation to catch up on all the stuff I missed while I was away on vacation.

    Sunday, November 17, 2002

    If I Still Owe You E-Mail, Here's the Reason Why

    Man, I had really, really intended to spend most of today catching up on my e-mail and maybe working on my Phoenix zine, and it just completely ended up not happening. I really should have known better than to decide to go shopping...

    The thing is, I needed a new stereo. I was trying to copy a tape for a friend of mine before I left when the tape deck quit working... Not exactly a surprise, that, since the thing dates back to a time when turntables were standard equipment and CDs were still the coming thing. So I had decided that it was high time I got myself a new one. I was also in desperate need of some new jeans, and, gee, I had no groceries in the house at all... So I figured an expedition up to Wally-world was in order. Well, that's three hours for shopping, right there, counting the 90-mile round trip, which was made even slower by having to navigate the 15 miles or so of Orange Barrel Hell north of town.

    Anyway, I did end up buying myself a stereo. OK, it was a cheap-ass stereo, but then, I'd been playing my tapes on the vintage 80's relic and my CDs on a boombox, so it's still a major step up for me. Problem was, having decided to purchase a stereo, I realized I was going to need a place to put it, since it wasn't going to fit on the stand for the old one. So I bought a bookcase. Which I had to put together. Now, the stereo wouldn't fit on the bookcase (not deep enough), which was fine, because I could put it on top of the entertainment center, which previously held books. Of course, I couldn't then just move those displaced books onto the new bookshelves, because that would throw my whole book-organization system off. So I had to move all the books in the living room around. And I had to move the old stereo (and the poster above it) so I could fit in the new bookcase. And then I realized that now that I had empty shelf space and could take my Star Trek mug collection (don't laugh; it was a Christmas present!) out of the box it was sitting in and put it back out on a shelf. And then...

    Ah, skip the details. The point is, I think I damn near ended up rearranging my entire living room. Which is why I didn't get to my e-mail, or pretty much anything else I'd intended to do.

    And the moral is: Shopping is evil and will take over your entire life. Although when you're listening to the latest Tom Petty CD with the volume cranked up in the midst of your amazingly-organized living room, it does kind of seem worth it.

    But now I'm very, very tired.

    Saturday, November 16, 2002

    I'm Baaaaack!

    Yes, I am now back in front of my own computer in my own home, and I'm pleased to report that I had an uneventful flight back, and that I arrived to find my house still standing and my cats alive and well and hopefully not too awfully pissed off at me. I also found 435 e-mails waiting in my inbox, which was actually rather less than I was expecting. And 22 messages on my answering machine, 19 of which were telemarketers calling and hanging up, and 2 of which were telemarketers who actually had the unmitigated audacity to leave messages. But my thoughts on that matter aren't printable, even by my standards.

    Anyway. I'm not gonna go on very much longer, because I'm tired and hungry and very much need to spend some quality time with the kitties, not to mention unpacking and suchlike. But I will mention one thing that really, really struck me on this trip: it didn't feel like going home. Oh, sure, lots of my family is there, and seeing them was great, but New Jersey itself just doesn't feel like home anymore. Not even in a nostalgic sort of way. Hell, it doesn't even feel like a place that used to be home, which is kind of odd. It's just... a place. And not even a particularly great one in many ways (although the autumn leaves were definitely very pretty). The converse of that, I suppose, is that sometime, when I wasn't looking, New Mexico somehow became "home." That wasn't something I ever really intended to happen, but I suppose it shouldn't be too surprising. I've been here for 13 years now, more or less my entire adult life. It's really no wonder coming back here feels... comfortable.

    Anyway, never mind all that. The point is: I'm back, and normal blog service should now be resuming. You can all let out that collective breath you've been holding!

    Thursday, November 14, 2002

    Still Chillin' in Jersey

    Well, I've got a little while to myself just at the moment -- Dad's asleep, my stepmother's out at a meeting about selling Avon[*] -- and I have access to their computer. Bwahahaha! The feeling of power! Foolish mortals, leaving me access to their machine! Why, I could... I could... Uh, I could update my blog.

    So. Anyway, yep, I'm still on vacation, still in New Jersey. Yesterday and today, I spent some time hanging around with my grandmother and my aunt and cousins, which was nice, considering how seldom I get to see any of them. Other than that, well, I think I've mostly been eating. And eating. And eating. At this rate, I'm not going to be able to fit into the plane seat on the return trip, but, you know, people just sort of keep handing me food. "Here! You can't get this stuff in New Mexico! Have some!" So I do. I mean, you know, it'd hardly be polite to turn down the hospitality. Right?

    I've also been watching a lot of movies. Somehow, my stepmother and I have ended up having a Star Trek movie marathon. I didn't even have to supply the movies! They've got a whole shelf full of 'em! You know, sometimes I forget just how cool these people can actually be. Also, my Dad makes a fairly mean chile.

    Hmm. I should probably go now before they wake up/get back and find me writing complimentary things about them. I mean, how embarrassing would that be? Heh.

    [*] Note how I manfully refrain from making a Blake's 7 reference there. Actually, you know, I walked out of the hotel to their car after the convention, only to suddenly be confronted by a "Let's talk Avon!" sticker in the window, and I must admit, it made for a weird grinding of mental gears. My immediate thought was "But I just spent the entire weekend doing that!" (And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you haven't watched nearly enough SF television. You can go here to educate yourself if you like.) And, gee, I guess that, um, wasn't very manful of me, after all.

    Monday, November 11, 2002

    Greetings from the Garden State

    Aw, gee, despite the "on hiatus" notice in that last post, I just couldn't stay away... Didja miss me? At the moment, I'm sitting at my Dad's computer, here in Audobon Park, NJ, where all the streets are named after birds.

    My flight into Newark was just fine, although, I must say, security has gotten even more stringent since the last time I flew, a couple of months after 9/11. I mean, the line was backed up into at least a 20-30 minute wait, and they were making people take off their coats, shoes, belts... Get this: airport security made me take off my shirt! Oh, all right, it wasn't quite as scandalous as it sounds. I was wearing a loose denim shirt unbuttoned over a t-shirt and they only made me take off the outer one, but, still, doesn't that sound dramatic? "Airport security made me take off my shirt!"

    The science fiction convention was lot of fun, too. This wasn't one of those big flashy conventions with celebrity guests or corporate sponsorship, just a place for fans to get together and talk and watch videos and sell each other stuff. But I got to meet lots of Blake's 7 fans I know from the internet in person for the first time, which was a really great experience. I also had my first encounter with a person even more obsessed with Farscape than I am, which was kind of gratifying. I sat in on some panels, watched some videos, did some shopping, ate far too much sugar and got far too little sleep... In other words, it was pretty much a complete success.

    And then today my Dad and his wife, Janice, drove up to Newark to get me and bring me back to my old South Jersey stomping grounds, where I was able to satisfy my craving for a genuine Philly cheesteak (accept no substitutes!) and to enjoy the genuine New Jersey rain. (Hey, it's amazing how much better I like rain when I'm not worried about it leaking through my roof!).

    And now they're about to feed me taco salad, which strikes me as really funny, considering that, hey, I did just leave New Mexico. But it also sounds pretty yummy, so I'm going to wrap this up and go see if it's ready!

    More updates may or may not follow. 'Til then, have fun! Or as much fun as you can have, considering that you're not the one on vacation. Ha!

    Thursday, November 07, 2002

    On Hiatus

    Well, I will be taking off soon for that exciting and thrilling tourist destination, New Jersey! Where I will be spending a long weekend interacting with other insane science fiction fans, followed by the better part of a week interacting with various members of my family (whose mental states I wouldn't dream of commenting on!). It's within the realm of possibility that I might cadge some computer time during my trip and drop in here to do an update, but, frankly, if I were you, I wouldn't count on it.

    If you get too bored while I'm away, you might want to check out the Cyber Party being held Nov 11-14th over at the Sci Fi BBoard. It's being hosted by the Farscape forum, but it's intended to be a multi-fandom event in which people are encouraged to get together, discuss their favorite TV shows/movies/books/whatever, post/read humor and fan fiction... that sort of thing. They've even got some "celebrity guests" lined up, including Pat Tallman (Babylon 5's Lyta Alexander). You have to register at the Sci Fi BBoard if you want to post (it's free), or you can just show up and lurk. It sounds like it might be fun; I'm a little sorry I'm going to miss it. If anybody does drop by and check it out, be sure and let me know how it went!

    As for me, I am outta here! Hasta la vista, babies! Be nice while I'm gone, and maybe I'll bring you back some virtual presents.

    Wednesday, November 06, 2002

    Send in the Clowns!

    I think I could play with this for days.

    I think this may be a little earlier in the month than I usually do this, but since I'm taking off on vacation in a couple of days...

    Current clothes: Black sweatshirt. Light blue drawstring jeans. White socks. Black sneakers.

    Current mood: Pleasantly anticipatory. Vacation, here I come!

    Current music: Most recently listened to is the Muppet Movie soundtrack, which I have on (believe it or not) vinyl. Most recently in the CD player is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. You just can't go wrong with the classics.

    Current hair: Nice & short. I actually got in to get it cut before it got too out of hand this time.

    Current annoyance: Not having as much money as I'd like. Well, I mean, even more so than usual.

    Current thing: Gettin' the heck out of Socorro!

    Current desktop picture: This cool collage of images from one of my favorite Farscape episodes.

    Current song stuck in head: "Hey, Jude."

    Current book: Just finished A Primate's Memoir and am about to start volume one of The Eugenics Wars by Greg Cox. That's a Star Trek novel, featuring the life and times of Khan Noonien Singh, one of the coolest bad guys ever to grace the TV or movie screen.

    Current video in player: A tapeover tape I stuck in to record tonight's Enterprise while I'm at work. (Yeah, this I remembered.)

    Current refreshment: Spearmint-flavored tea. Have I mentioned that I've become completely addicted to this stuff?

    Current worry: What is it that I'm gonna forget to do before I leave? What am I going to suddenly remember when I'm 1,000 miles away and 30,000 feet in the air that'll make me smack myself on the head and exclaim, "I can't believe I forgot that?" 'Cause, you know, I'm pretty sure there'll be something.

    Current thought: I should really make up a list of stuff I need to do tomorrow...

    Tuesday, November 05, 2002

    My Mother Always Told Me I'd Forget My Own Head If It Wasn't Attached.

    Damn it. I must've reminded myself half a dozen times to stick a tape in and set up to record tonight's Buffy before I came in to work, and of course I still managed to completely forget. Well, I suppose missing one more episode will hardly make a difference, but still. Grrrr. And, while I'm at it, aaaargh.

    Monday, November 04, 2002

    OK, One More Stupid Quiz. Then I'll Stop. Really.

    Which Founding Father Are You?

    Well, I have crossed the Delaware many times...
    Hmm, Perhaps This Finally Answers the Question of Where Springfield Is Located?

    I just finished watching last night's Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror." I particularly liked the "gun control" episode, but I feel compelled to point out that Billy the Kid is actually buried here in New Mexico...
    Non-Stupid Internet Quizzes

    All, right, forget the "what kind of candy bar are you?" stuff for a minute. Here's an interesting online test: the Multiple Intelligence Inventory. This is a serious test that asks what struck me as some fairly interesting and insightful questions and tells you about your "learning styles."

    For the record, I scored highest as a:
    Linguistic Learner
    -likes to: read, write and tell stories.
    -is good at: memorizing names, places, dates and trivia.
    -learns best by: saying, hearing and seeing words.

    Which is very, very definitely me.

    Second-highest was:
    Logical/Mathematical Learner
    -likes to: do experiments, figure things out, work with numbers, ask questions and explore patterns and relationships.
    -is good at: math, reasoning, logic and problem solving.
    -learns best by: categorizing, classifying and working with abstract patterns/relationships.

    That doesn't describe me quite as well. I'm not much for tinkering around and experimenting with things until I've gotten them figured out; I'm much happier if I can just get someone to explain how something works, instead. And I'm not super-great at math, though I suppose I'm less intimidated by it than many people. But I'm pretty good with logic. And playing with abstract patterns and relationships is fun.

    On the other hand, I scored very low as a:
    Spatial Learner
    -likes to: draw, build, design and create things, daydream, look at pictures/slides, watch movies and play with machines.
    -is good at: imagining things, sensing changes, mazes/puzzles and reading maps, charts.
    -learns best by: visualizing, dreaming, using the mind's eye and working with colors/pictures.

    A pretty good summary of all the things I'm really bad at, that. Well, exept for watching movies and daydreaming. I think I've got those down.

    I also scored very low as an:
    Interpersonal Learner
    -likes to: have lots of friends, talk to people and join groups.
    -is good at: understanding people, leading others, organizing, communicating, manipulating and mediating conflicts.
    -learns best by: sharing, comparing, relating, cooperating and interviewing.

    And high as an:
    Intrapersonal Learner
    -likes to: work alone and pursue own interests.
    -is good at: understanding self, focusing inward on feelings/dreams, following instincts, pursuing interests/goals and being original.
    -learns best by: working alone, individualized projects, self-paced instruction and having own space.

    To which all I can say is, "Hell, yeah!" If you want me to learn something, back off and leave me alone to get on with it!

    Indeed, none of this was anything I needed to take a test to tell me, but the part of me that likes "categorizing and classifying" found it very interesting.

    This site also has a couple of other nifty little experiments you can participate in. (Note: you have to register to participate in any of this stuff, but it doesn't ask you for your name or e-mail address, just a little bit of demographic information.) One of them challenges you to figure out which of a series of "stencils" were combined to create a certain pattern (a task even my little non-visually-oriented brain didn't find too awfully difficult). The results and discussion are kind of interesting to read, if you have any interest at all in this kind of how-the-brain-works stuff.

    There's also one that tests "perceptual processes in reading" by inviting you to scan a bunch of paragraphs (some of which are composed of actual, meaningful words and sentences, and some of which are just gibberish) and pick out a particular target word or string of characters. I found that one really frustrating, actually, because, as far as I can tell, when I'm presented with a block of text, my mind wants to read it. Even though the instructions specifically said just to look for the words and not read for content, the fastest and most natural and efficient way for me to look for the words was to speed-read the paragraph (albeit without worrying too much about the meaning). When I got paragraphs that were just pseudo-random jumbles of characters, I found that I actually felt kind of angry. Hey!, my brain shouted at me. I can't read this! What the hell are you trying to pull? This kind of leads me to wonder... Can most other people actually look at words without reading them? There was another little exercise on the page discussing this task, in which they present a sentence or two of text and ask you to read it and count the number of t's. The idea is to demonstrate that, when people are reading, short, common words like "the" tend not to impinge on our consciousness, and even when we're trying to pay attention to how many t's there are, we tend to miss a lot of them for that reason. Which certainly did seem to be the case for me. Here's the odd thing, though. They then invite you do go over the snippet again, and this time, they tell you, don't read it, just scan for t's. (The idea being that you'll get more t's that way, because your brain isn't reading the words as individual chunks and ignoring the "the"s.) And you know something? I can't do it. Oh, I can count t's OK, but I can't not read the words. How do you look at a sentence and just see it as a collection of letters? It's like saying to someone, "OK, now, look around you, but don't see the things in your visual field as objects. Just scan them for shapes." You can't do it! You can't not see a computer as a computer and a bookcase as a bookcase, and just pick them out as rectangles. (I mean, you can pick them out as rectangles, but you can't exactly get your brain to ignore the meaningful visual content of them, can you?) Are words different than that for most people?

    Well, all right, you're probably thinking "so what?" and "who cares?" But, hey, I find this stuff interesting, anyway. Probably goes along with all that yotz about "understanding self" and "focusing inward"...

    Sunday, November 03, 2002

    All Right. It's Late, I'm Stuck at Work, and I've Come Down With a Bit of a Headache. The Only Thing To Do Now Is To Take a Big Old Truckload of Stupid Internet Quizzes.

    You're 3 Musketeers!
    You're kind of plain. Nothing amazing. But hey, that's not always a bad thing.

    Hey, all for one and one for nougat!

    You're the lego Space Man!
    Strap on your helmet! You're the lego space man! You love technology, and look forward to the future. You're brave, active, and strangely attracted to shiny objects.

    Take the "What Lego character are you?" test! by ctbx

    Mmmm, shiny objects...


    You are a very calm and contemplative person. Others are drawn to your peaceful, nurturing nature.

    Find out your color at!

    I thought it was blue that was supposed to be contemplative?

    i'm a rabbit.what kinda pet are you?
    quiz made by muna.

    I kinda like carrots, too.

    You have your share of quirks and funny habits,
    but if you don't voice those thoughts your 'other side' is putting in your head, you can usually pass yourself off as a normal person.
    You tend to be an average person, but that doesn't mean you have to follow what the majority of the people think all the time.

    Man, that so has me pegged...

    Which Buffy Girl Are You? Find out @ She's Crafty

    But I wanna be Willow! I like Willow! And I'm still not sure exactly where this Dawn person came from...

    Who's Your Inner Buffy Bad-Girl? Find out @ She's Crafty

    Actually I bear no resemblence to Faith whatsoever, but who cares? She's cool.
    I'm Still Here, And Still As Happening As Always

    I know, I haven't blogged in a couple of days. Highly unusual for me. What can I say? I honestly don't have anything in particular to talk about this weekend, it seems. Not that that usually stops me, I know. But it's definitely been a lazy, uneventful weekend, in large part, I think, because I suddenly realized that all the really urgent things on my to-do list had either already been done or simply can't be done at the moment. And the non-urgent things, are, well, not urgent and can wait until after I get back from vacation. So I've just been puttering around and relaxing and enjoying myself, which is, needless to say, really nice.

    Here's some of the things I've done this weekend:
  • Laundry. Clean underwear is a good thing.

  • Reading. Currently I'm reading A Primate's Memoir by Robert M. Sapolsky. It's about the experiences of a guy who went to Kenya to study stress in baboons. Very lively, funny, interesting book. I'll probably review it for my book review page at some point, since I really do need to start doing some more reviews.

  • Attending the Jansky Lecture. This is a popular-level astronomy talk that's given every year and hosted by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, where I work. This year the topic was gamma ray bursters, which are pretty darned cool.

  • Watching Firefly. Have I mentioned lately that this is a really fun show?

  • Beta-reading. This is the technical term for what goes on when a writer finishes a story and gives it to somebody else to read so they can point out the typos and plot holes and otherwise criticize or praise as appropriate. And, man, if I had a dollar for every time somebody came to me and said, "Hey, can you read through my novel/story/term paper/fan fiction for me before I send it to the editor/post it to the internet/turn it in to the professor/run it in the APA?" I could quit my job and do it professionally. Well, maybe not, but it's a nice thought.

  • Movie-watching. I actually went out and rented a movie for the first time in ages. Watching Reservoir Dogs a while back gave me a bit of a hankering for some more Tarantino, so I got Jackie Brown, which I hadn't seen before. It's a pretty good movie: good plot, good characters, good acting, but, I dunno, it seems to be lacking... something... that Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs had. Don't ask me what, though.

  • Hanging out with friends. Because my friends have discovered the surest way of getting me to come and hang out with them: free food and digital cable!

  • Playing The Sims. I moved a bunch of Buffy vampires into my new SF-TV-themed neighborhood. At the moment, Spike is passionately in love with Drusilla, who doesn't love him back. I'd call this a case of life imiatating art, except that would seem like a really strange thing to say...

  • E-mail. Sometimes it seems that half my life is spent reading and writing e-mail. At the moment, I'm having various long discussions with various people about Blake's 7, and Star Trek, and Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy and probably several other things I'm forgetting at the moment.

  • So, yup, now you all know about the amazing and exciting things I do in my spare time! Though, alas, that spare time is slowly drawing to an end, as I'm afraid I have to go in to work in a few hours... I should log off now, really. I've still got a lot of important lazing-around to do between now and then!

    Friday, November 01, 2002

    Matrix Me

    click to take it!

    When it comes to being mysterious, that's what you do best. You like
    to leave others puzzled and speak in riddles. You're not out there
    for the fame and fortune, you're just being yourself, doing what you
    do best. You're strong and courageous, and you're always the leader
    of the pack. You're skillful; people respect you, and you respect

    I would kind of rather have been the Agent played by Paul Goddard, but, I admit it, that's just 'cause I'm a Farscape fan.
    Oh My, Now the Friday Five Wants Me To Talk About Religion

    1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith? Sort of. My family weren't very deeply religious when I was a kid... My father's since become very devout, but when I was growing up church and religion weren't very big parts of our life. I did go to church occasionally (Presbyterian) and I attended Sunday school for several years.

    2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not? No, I abandonded it when I was in about the sixth or seventh grade (although it took me a long time to be willing to admit the fact to my family or anyone else). I am now an atheist. As for why... The more I read about both religion and science as a kid, the more I came to realize that traditional religious teachings just aren't a very good way of explaining the world. And the more I learned to think critically and use my brain, the more I came to believe that it's a good thing to question your own beliefs and your reasons for believing things, and to reject the beliefs that can't be supported logically. So that's what I did. Well, there's a lot more to it than that, but I don't necessarily want to get into a whole essay on the nature of belief, here.

    3. What do you think happens after death? The world goes on without you.

    4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)? I don't know that I have one. For a long time, religious rituals in general made me really uncomfortable, actually, for a variety of psychological reasons that, again, I really don't feel like getting into just at the moment. That's not the case any more, fortunately; I've learned to relax and not feel too defensive about my own religious beliefs, which makes it a lot easier to accept other people's. But I still don't have a lot of contact with religious ritual of any description.

    5. Do you believe people are basically good? I believe that people are basically... people. We do good things, we do bad things, we do things that are impossible to categorize. We do bad things for good reasons, good things for bad reasons, things that we think are good and others think are bad, things that we think are bad and others view as good... In other words, people are extremely complex, and trying to simplify that complexity into the simple dichotomy of "bad" vs. "good" is wrongheaded and pointless.