Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year!

So... This is the end of 2003, huh? I can't really say that I'm sorry to see the last of it... It's been a hell of a year, and not in the positive sense of the phrase. Still, as with landings, I figure that in some sense any year you can walk away from is a good year. And, y'know, I'm optimistic about 2004. So, like it says up above, Happy New Year, everybody!
From My Inbox to You...

A friend of mine just sent me this list. A lot of it's probably familiar, but I thought it was extremely funny, anyway, and figured I'd pass it along. So:


-It is always possible to park directly outside any building you are visiting.

-A detective can only solve a case once he has been fired from his job.

-If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.

-Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization.

-It doesn't matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked them out.

-When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they will never suffer a concussion or brain damage.

-No one involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.

-Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

-When foreigners are alone, they all prefer to speak English to each other.

-You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

-Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds, unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.

-An electric fence, powerful enough to kill a dinosaur will cause no lasting damage to an eight-year-old child.

-Every time a person turns on the television to see the news, he instantly sees what he wants and what concerns him.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Another Pointless Quiz Gacked From Still Life With Woodpecker

Turn images on, you idiot!
Homicidal Tendencies

Which Inner Demon (tm) Possesses You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I have no idea how it got that from my answers. I figured I was a shoo-in for the "antisocial indifference."

Monday, December 29, 2003

The Final Frontier of DVDs

Just got a package of Christmas presents from my sister (a little belated due to shipping delays). She got me a copy of Star Trek V, which pleases me considerably, as it allows me to indulge my completist instincts when it comes to Star Trek movies without actually paying my own good money for number five. Heh. Thanks, sis!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Seeker:: Missile
  2. Mirror:: Universe
  3. Fire:: "Fire Bad!"
  4. Goblet:: Brandy
  5. Empty:: Spaces
  6. Secrets:: Lies
  7. Defense:: Mechanism
  8. Hatchet:: Job
  9. Vapour:: Trails
  10. Ministry:: of Defense

Make of that what you will...

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Now That Is What I Call A Crossover!

Think all your favorite comic book/sci-fi/fantasy/classic literature/etc. universes can't be made to fit together coherently? Well, you're right, but The Unified Field Crossover History of the Universe is pretty darned amusing, anyway. And, in places, kinda scary...

Some random samples:

1949: Long-lost Kryptonian generation ship exterminated by Daleks. One survivor, Kara Zor-El escapes in lifepod.
-People's Republic of China founded.
-Alien spaceship crashes near Arctic base, giving personnel a Thing or two to deal with.
-"The Five" begin toying with CIA's superhuman research.
-"Superhuman" research produces interesting side effect in the form of genetically-enhanced Great Danes, code-named "Great Doos."


2141: Few remaining descendants of Moreau's island, still unable to find acceptance, head for stars; will spend most of time hanging around the background of space bars and seedy colonies.


Four Billion: Universe has changed significantly, but some human colonists in a galaxy far, far away have retained basic human form. The energy of many dead races, meanwhile, survives as "the Force."
The slowly dying universe has changed laws of physics; there's air resistance in space, so objects moving therein make a whoosh sound as they pass, and "parsec" is now a measurement of time, not space.

(Note: The "continue" link on pg. 4 is broken, but if you go up to the URL address and replace the "4" with a "5," it'll take you to pg. 5 just fine.)

(Link via The Presurfer.)

Friday, December 26, 2003

And Now, the Friday Five

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year? I survived for another year! Go, me!

2. What was your biggest disappointment? "Disappointment" doesn't even begin to cover it, but I'd have to say the death of my stepfather.

3. What do you hope the new year brings? I hope to survive for yet another year.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be? Way back in high school, I made a New Year's resolution never to make any more New Year's resolutions. Up until this year, I've kept it. But I've got this kind of writing project sort of thing I'm supposed to be helping a friend with, and I've been neglecting it and neglecting it, and I told her that I really-truly would get working on it come January, and that that would be my New Year's resolution. So I guess I finally have one.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve? Apparently I'm working until midnight. Lucky me. Traditionally, a bunch of my friends get together on New Year's Eve to watch bad movies and play boardgames... If they're doing that this year, I'll probably drop by after work. Otherwise, I have nothing planned at all.
Search Request Thursday

Yes, I know, Thursday was yesterday, but it was also Christmas, and I was taking the day off. So there.

I have to say, the sheer number of hits I've been getting for "Simpsons porn" and "Gollum porn" is really starting to worry me. At least nobody's been here looking for porn involving both the Simpsons and Gollum yet, though I suspect it's merely a matter of time. Anyway, here's the latest batch:

  • backpacking recipe: First take one backpack...

  • "Tampons" "Aeryn" "Crichton": Hmm... Do Peacekeepers use tampons? Do Sebaceans even menstruate? These are potentially interesting questions...

  • maximum pain theory comics: OK, what's "maximum pain theory" and why are there comics about it?

  • sex with galadriel pics: Geez, Gimli, give it up already! She's a married woman!

  • funniest quotes lexx: My personal favorite was, "It can't be that hard, it's not rocket surgery!"

  • Jimmy Buffets wedding pictures: I don't even have my own family's wedding pictures, let alone Jimmy Buffet's.

  • robot download "douglas adams hitchhiker": Aw, don't download Marvin. He's down enough already! (Ha. I kill me!)

  • Nude.Farscape: Little known fact: after the success of the cartoon episode and the scrapped plans to do a musical episode, writer/producer David Kemper's next stunt would have been to write an All Nude! episode. And this is the actual reason the series got cancelled...

  • itching powder jeans: This does not sound pleasant.

  • Relating to, involving, or committing the violation, desecration, or theft of something: Who know google had the capacity to function as a reverse dictionary?

  • adult Arwen orc fanfic: OK, I like to think of myself as pretty openminded, and, you know, I'm all for interspecies love affairs, but... Ewww!

  • castrate abc husband: A is for... No. Never mind. I am not doing that.

  • "cute with long hair": Not me. Mine's much cuter short. To the extent that it's cute at all, which is not much.

  • gunter ding dong mpg: Who is Gunter, and why do we want to hear his ding dong?

  • 'Top Ten' chocolate brands: I don't know, it's just too hard to decide! Like Deanna Troi, I never met a chocolate I didn't like.

  • bondage porn: This one hardly would be worth remarking upon, if it weren't for the fact that they had the "safe search" option on.

  • download liberator handyman: I think the Liberator's handyman would have to be Avon, since he did all the fixin' stuff. I imagine he'd get very annoyed at being called that, though.

  • Avon Campaign 2004: Speaking of whom... Kerr Avon for Federation Prez in New Calendar 2004!

  • legolas willow crossover fanfiction slash: Um, technically I believe one of them would have to have a sex change for that...

  • answers to Kira's naked quiz: The good Major must be getting very bored since the Dominion War ended.

  • eowyn hentai: Oh, my mind just went to some very scary places involving Nazgul... *Shudder*

  • snow globe shake makes little people yell: It's here. And may I just say that, for some reason, this strikes me as just the cutest search request I've ever gotten?
  • Wednesday, December 24, 2003

    My Christmas Eve

    I've got a pumpkin pie in the oven, Christmas music on the stereo, a scented candle on the counter, and a mug of hot apple cider in my hand. See, I'm not such a humbug, after all!

    Happy holidays!
    Here's a Quiz to Get You in the Christmas Spirit...

    You shall be taken from this place and publically
    beheaded. You're important enough to warrant
    public execution and well known enough to look
    good on a pike outside our palace.

    How will you be executed come the revolution?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Decapitation, huh? Well, it could be a lot worse...

    Tuesday, December 23, 2003

    Counting Down to Christmas

    I just got off the phone with my mother. Had to let her know that the presents she sent me got here OK. Or at least some of them did. Apparently there's another box which, with luck, should be here tomorrow. Judging from the way she was talking, it sounds like she just sort of clicked randomly on a few items from my Amazon wish list, so I have the feeling this could be really interesting... She won't let me unwrap them before Christmas, though. My mother has this really weird obsession about unwrapping things. She has this notion that if everybody doesn't have tons of stuff to unwrap on Christmas morning (or, OK, in a pinch, on Christmas Eve) it'll be a tragedy of epic proportions. Except herself, of course. She doesn't care what she gets or when she gets it or whether it's wrapped, she says. And she has to be threatened not to unwrap her own gifts as soon as she gets them. (By my sister, that is. I don't care!) But no matter how many times I tell her differently, she's convinced that if I don't have stuff to unwrap I'm going to suffer the bitterest disappointment of my life. You should have heard her when she thought Amazon wasn't going to get the stuff shipped in time. I thought she was going to go ballistic.

    I think it must be that, in some part of her mind, her kids are forever six years old and lost in the joy of tearing through wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Which is maybe not such a bad thing, even if it is the same impulse that seems to make her think that, even though I'm 32 years old and have been out on my own in the world for 14 years, I'm still incapable of deciding for myself when I need to put on a jacket.

    I love my Mom.

    Monday, December 22, 2003


    Actually got more than enough sleep last night. Am feeling much better. Am also remembering just why I liked Firefly so danged much.

    So, hey, life ain't that bad!

    Sunday, December 21, 2003

    And How Are You Feeling Today?

    Am still not sleeping properly. No matter what time I go to bed or what shift I'm working, I keep waking up suddenly after about six hours. It's really starting to become rather distressing. On top of which, I woke up this morning a little bit stuffy and sneezy... I really hope that, after miraculously dodging the flu bullet for the last couple of months, I'm not finally coming down with something now.

    I got an invitation to do dinner at a friend's house this afternoon, but decided to beg off. If anybody needs me, I think I'm going to be curled up in front of the TV for the rest of the day having a Firefly marathon.

    *hangs out Do Not Disturb sign*
    Unconscious Mutterings

    1. Exchange:: Stock
    2. Parental Advisory:: PG
    3. Blowout:: Tire
    4. Spider:: Shelob
    5. Happy:: ...Days are here again!
    6. Intense:: Heat
    7. Corrupt:: Government
    8. Got:: Milk?
    9. Crude:: Efforts
    10. Three:: It's a magic number!
    Saw It!

    Just got back from RotK. I'm not remotely up to anything resembling a coherent review, so I'll just say that I went in expecting something exciting and moving and satisfying, and I was not disappointed.

    I do have a few entirely random thoughts, though... (Warning: Contains vague-ish movie spoilers.):

  • I found it hard to credit, but the reviewers were right: the battle of Minas Tirith makes Helm's Deep look like a Sunday school picnic. Absolutely spectacular. And I say this as someone who usually tends to go glassy-eyed at battle scenes.

  • It was nice to finally see Andy Serkis' face on the screen, and I do think the potted history of Gollum was a good way to start out the movie. Speaking of Gollum, for a guy who's spent the last half a millennium or so living alone in a cave, he's got some amazing psychological manipulation skills.

  • Eowyn kicks ass! So does Gandalf. And so does Sam, for that matter, when you get him really pissed off. Of course, if you ask me, Sam rocks utterly just by virtue of being Sam. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you have to pick out just one character who's the true hero of the story, it's gotta be Sam.

  • Gimli completely cracks me up. He gets all the best lines in this one!

  • I think the decision not to include the Scouring of the Shire in the story was a sound one. It would have been anticlimactic, and the return at the end to a Shire effectively untouched and unaware of larger events actually does hit exactly the right kind of emotional and thematic notes. If I were feeling particularly deep, I could probably talk for quite a while about Joseph Campbell and traditional heroic myth-patterns, and how well the movie captures the idea of a hero who returns to the place he's fought for so changed by his experiences that he no longer truly belongs there. But I'm way too sleepy for that stuff at the moment.

  • It may sound a bit odd to put it this way, but I honestly do regard the story of Sam and Frodo as one of the great love stories of our time. That it's a Platonic love story (and, the salacious speculations of a thousand fans notwithstanding, I think it pretty clearly is) doesn't change that fact one whit.

  • Yes, I did get teary-eyed by the end. Which wasn't exactly unexpected, as my most vivid memory of reading the books (lo these many years ago now) is of crying so hard at the end that the words became entirely too blurred to read. Sentimental sap that I am. Actually, I was doing pretty good at the movie, right up until the point where Sam started talking about strawberries. That just really got to me for some reason, and it became decidedly difficult to keep the ol' eyes dry thereafter. Stupid strawberries.

  • OK, surely I cannot be the only one whose first thought, upon seeing Sam and Frodo disguised in Orc costumes, was "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper." Can I?

  • I love the fact that so many of the characters (including, at various points, most of our heroes) spend much of the movie looking absolutely terrified. It adds quite an element of realism to the whole thing. And it's not just that... I think that one of the repeated themes of the story as a whole is that of the nobility of being willing to do desperate, near-hopeless, possibly-suicidal things simply because they are the things that need to be done if there is to be any hope at all. And having people who actually look like they're expecting to die at any moment really serves to highlight that, rather than to diminish it.

  • There was so much else going on that I didn't really miss seeing Saruman at all, but I do think it's a pity he was cut, if only because Christopher Lee is so darned cool. Sigh. I have to wait how long for the extended edition, now?
  • Friday, December 19, 2003


    Haven't had the chance to do much DVD watching yet, but I did play the blooper reel from the Farscape 4.1 DVD, and it's pretty frelling hilarious. Favorite bits: Rygel clocking himself in the chin with his scepter and Anthony Simcoe forgetting his lines and concluding a particularly impassioned D'Argo speech with, "I've really forgotten what I have to say, but, given how much I'm yelling, I'm sure it's very important!"
    Friday Five

    Ah, this is one of those "list your favorite x" things. I suck at those. I can never pick favorite anythings, not even if you let me make it a "top 5" list. But I'll try...

    1. List your five favorite beverages. Pepsi. Cherry Pepsi. Peppermint tea. Darjeeling tea from Stash. And, uh... Damn. I really don't know what the fifth one is. Coffee? Root beer? Green tea? Lemonade? Water, maybe, since I drink a lot of it.

    2. List your five favorite websites. God, this one is nigh unto impossible. Let's see..., of course, that supplier of all my addictions. This blog page, because, yeah, I'm just that modest. Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, because it rocks, even if I don't visit it quite as much as I used to back when I was in the first excited flush of rediscovering what an incredible show B7 was. Uh... the Save Farscape site, maybe, just because I've been visiting it compulsively for over a year now. And... Argh. I don't know. Honestly, I don't. The web is just too full of cool and interesting places.

    3. List your five favorite snack foods. Chocolate-covered pretzels. Non-chocolate-covered pretzels. Non-pretzel-covering chocolate. Fruit of various kinds. (Especially nectarines. I love nectarines!) Ummm... Popcorn?

    4. List your five favorite board and/or card games. Scrabble. Maybe Pictionary. Beyond that, I don't know, actually. I like to play lots of different off-beat kinds of games, which I can usually rely on my friends to provide. I tend to get bored with most games, I think, if I play them all the time.

    5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games. The Sims. Actually, that's really the main computer game that I play, and I haven't even booted up that one in months. Well, that and computer Scrabble, occasionally, because other human beings seldom want to play Scrabble with me. And for a while I was addicted to playing Bespelled and Atomica on-line, but I eventually kicked the habit. Mostly. Oh, and Collapse!, too. I nearly gave myself RSI playing Collapse!.

    Thursday, December 18, 2003

    Well, I Know What I'm Doing During My Time Off Over the Holidays...

    Got a big batch of DVDs in the mail today: all of Firefly, Season 5 of Buffy, and the first set of episodes from Farscape Season 4. Whoo-hoo!

    I find, however, that I am now suffering from a terrible case of choice paralysis. What do I watch first? Especially considering that I've still got Season 2 of Babylon 5 to watch, and Season 1 of Forever Knight... Not to mention a few Doctor Whos, a bunch of Alien Nations, both V miniseries, and a handful of movies... And all the extras discs...

    Man, why am I sitting here in front of the computer instead of being in front of the TV?
    Search Request Thursday

    Here we go again...

  • handbag "leather tag" remove: Yes, I believe you are supposed to remove those.

  • STAR TREK's BLACK ACTOR WITH DREADLOCKS: You know, I don't recall any Trek characters with dreadlocks...

  • licorice waffer: It's waffer thin! And it's licorice!

  • "betty bad" patch naked: Uh... No comment.

  • mt st helens repeat likelihood: High enough that I think I'd be uncomfortable living there...

  • Farscape jool in bondage: Well, she does kind of dress for it...

  • i sometimes feel a twinge of remorse, shen passing the old place: I have no idea what this is or what it's from, or who Shen might be... But it's kinda poetic.

  • betty friends boobs: You leave my friends' boobs out of it!

  • gollum's porn site: My precious, preciousss porrrrn!

  • t'pol "text adventure": Hopefully T'Pol's text adventure is more interesting that the dull stuff she gets up to on Enterprise.

  • pictures of wesley crusher's(wil wheaton) dick: I'll take "things I really have no desire to see" for a thousand, please, Alex.

  • "Social Commentary" "Flowers for Algernon" "charly": Yeah, I think there was some.

  • jimmy buffet person pics: Well, any picture of Jimmy Buffet would be a pic of a person, right? Unless there's something about the good Mr. Buffet that I don't know about.

  • knick knack free movie: Cheaper than buying your own knick-knacks! Just get the free movie and let it play on your TV! It's sorta like a virtual aquarium, only it's a virtual knick-knack shelf!

  • animals social campaign: Didn't George Orwell write about that?

  • "Answering machine messages" "Christopher Walken": That's one way to ensure that people are too creeped out to want to call you.

  • itching powder bondage: Now that's what I call masochistic!

  • hentai babs bunny: Apparently it's not just for Japanese characters any more...

  • pennsauken mart telephone number: Here's a thought: why don't you try the phone book?

  • christmas snow and animation shake yell: They probably wanted this thing, but the other possibilities conjured up in my mind are also amusing.

  • scorpius keyboard green purple: Somehow, I can't see Scorpius using a green and purple keyboard. He's much more of a "basic black" kind of guy.

  • campbell's chunky positioning on the product: Positioning on a can of soup could be kind of difficult, I think. You'd be far too likely to lose your balance and fall off.

  • futurama nude pics leela bender: Uh, isn't Bender always nude? Well, except when he's wearing his apron.

  • crack cocaine: Don't have any here! Sorry!

  • legolas stairs helms deep: OK, I admit, I found his Elvish snowboarding stunt a little bit cheesy...

  • eowyn nude fakes: Eowyn could completely kick your ass if she found out about this, you do realize that, right?

  • boobs celebrities large pictures gallery: I wonder if it's the boobs, the celebrities, or the pictures that are suppose to be large?

  • "Purple" "northwestern" "livejournal": Sorry. You have instead found a "blue, white and gray" "southwestern" "blog."

  • Book embosser: I've got one of those! I don't know that it really does a great job of keeping people from borrowing books and then not returning them, though.

  • "the boy who cried wolf" hoshi: Hmm, the Star Trek character I tend to associate with that story is Garak. (I love Garak!)

  • gollum website nude picture:! (Oh, god, if that turns out to be a real website, I'm going to shoot myself...)

  • livejournal vancouver nurse kate: Hello, nurse Kate from Vancouver! How's the Livejournal going?

  • boromir character assassination shirt: I thought it was Faramir whose character was assassinated? Boromir was just, well... assassinated.


  • "ba dum ba dum" dramatic music: I think this one gets my pick for favorite search request of the week.

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2003

    Today's Tolkien Link

    For fans of both LotR and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's "Once More, With Hobbits." Do not drink liquids while reading, because bits of it are milk-out-the-nose hysterical. Definitely works better if you know the songs from the Buffy episode, though.
    Waiting for the Return of the King

    I'm not going to see RotK today. Deep sigh. Actually, this is pretty much by my own choice... I'm intending to go see it in Albuquerque with a friend, but that's a two-hour round trip, plus three hours and change for the movie... And while that would just about be doable tonight, it'd be a bit of tight scheduling getting back here to be at work at 11:45 PM for the start of my shift. Far better, I thought, to do it when I could take my time and enjoy the experience... Grab a pizza beforehand, maybe, go out for coffee and have a long talk about how great the movie was afterward... So I'm planning on catching it Saturday.

    And I still think that's a good plan. But, nevertheless, I find myself being terribly, terribly jealous of people who are getting to see it today (or already did last night). Not to mention my friend, Mr. Professional Movie Critic, who's already seen it twice. Bastard.

    Still. I have the feeling it's going to be worth it.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2003

    Still More Quizzage

    scoot jpeg
    You are Scooter.
    You are a loyal, hardworking person, better known
    as a doormat.

    Going for stuff.

    "Go For Broke!"

    "15 seconds to showtime."

    "300 New Ways to Get Your Uncle to Get You a
    Better Job "

    Coffee, clipboard, and Very Special Guest Stars.

    What Muppet are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla
    Obligatory Tolkien Link of the Day

    Dr, Suess meets J.R.R. Tolkien in a collaboration from beyond the grave! Yes, that's right, it's "Green Eggs and Lembas Bread"!

    A sample:
    I have the ring. I have it here.
    But, mercy me! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!
    I fear the ring is very bad,
    The golden ring that Bilbo had!
    Tell me, will you take the ring?

    I will not take that evil thing!

    Would you, could you, by the fire?
    Would you, could you, in the Shire?

    I would not, could not, by the fire.
    I would not, could not, in the Shire.

    And, uh, so on. Though, unfortunately, it only covers up to the hobbits leaving for Bree...
    Hubble, Hubble!

    A Loyal Reader (hi, John!) sent me this link to a flash presentation of absolutely gorgeous photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope. Amazing, beautiful stuff...
    Best. Quiz. Ever.

    Find Your Warped Personality
    this quiz was made by mysti

    OK, that result is, of course, completely accurate, right down to that quote being something I've actually said more than once. And the quiz features some of the most entertaining questions and answers I've seen in a long while. But what really gets me is that one of the possible answers to the question "Your first reaction to seeing a glass with some water?" is "The glass is full -- half water, half air!"... Which happens to be a smartass remark I've been using since I was a kid, and which I'd thought was entirely original to me.

    Clearly whoever made up the quiz qualifies as a fellow nerd...
    My Birthday Star

    No, I haven't suddenly decided to start believing in astrology. (If that ever happens, shoot me. It'll be the kindest thing.) But I did find this nifty website which asks you for your birthdate and then offers you the name of a star whose light, emitted at the time of your birth, is just now reaching the Earth. (In other words, when you look at the star in question, you're seeing it as it looked on the day you were born.)

    My result, valid as of today (since it will of course change as I age):
    Your birthday star is in the constellation Ophiuchus. It is called 12 Ophiuchi in the Historia Coelestis Britannica of John Flamsteed and Edmund Halley. It is called NS 1636-0219 in the NStars database.

    It has visual magnitude 5.76 meaning that you could just see this star with the naked eye under the best viewing conditions.

    A little more research reveals that this is "a main-sequence orange-red dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type K0-2 Ve," a variable star "whose variability is attributed to stellar rotation in which starspots covering a significant fraction of the stellar surface rotate in and out of the field of view."

    I am oddly charmed by all of this for some reason.

    (Link via The Presurfer.)

    Monday, December 15, 2003

    Some Further Thoughts on Faramir

    So, I've been watching some of the Two Towers extras, and I find it very interesting to hear the writers' defense of the changes they made involving Faramir. They start off by defending the decision to move Frodo and Sam's encounter with Shelob to the third movie, on the grounds that if you have this big climactic event involving Sam and Frodo going on at exactly the same time as the big climactic stuff going on at Helm's deep, it's just going to be a bit too much, and the impact of both storylines is going to be diminished. (And, anyway, in terms of internal chronology, Shelob actually happens considerably after Helm's Deep.) OK, fair enough. Jackson and co. then go on to say that, that decision having been made, they were left with a bit of a problem, because pretty much nothing of any real dramatic significance was happening with the Sam & Frodo story. In order to keep some sort of dramatic tension, they say, there had to be some sort of obstacle on their journey. Faramir showing up and being all pleasant and helpful just doesn't cut it, so he had to be converted into an obstacle. Moreover, the reasoning goes, they'd been playing up the power of the Ring throughout the whole movie, the effect it has on people, the difficulty of resisting its lure... This is absolutely essential to Frodo's character arc, in fact. And having Faramir apparently being completely unaffected by it -- in the book, he says that he wouldn't pick it up if he found it lying by the side of the road -- really undermines that.

    And you know what? All of that actually makes perfect sense to me. These guys do have a good sense of what makes for good storytelling, for what kind of pacing a movie needs, for how best to structure things to keep the drama and tension at exactly the right level. (Indeed, it seems to me that they understand it far better than the people who make the Harry Potter movies. I have serious problems with the pacing and structure of those, particularly the first one. It tries to stick too close to the book and ends up not working very well as a movie, in my opinon. But that's a rant for another time.) I think their decision is completely defensible in those terms. I can see why it would bother hardcore Tolkien purists as a matter of principle, but I'm not really a hardcore Tolkien purist. I've got nothing particularly invested in the book characterization of Faramir. Indeed, it's been so long since I read the trilogy that I don't even remember that much about the book characterization of Faramir. And, as Jackson himself points, out, they've made much bigger changes than that elsewhere.

    However. Defensible as the decision may be in principle, I do think it falls down rather badly in the execution. Fidelity to the book entirely aside, I honestly don't think the movie's depiction of Faramir works all that well purely in internal story terms.

    Part of my objection really only applies to the theatrical version, and is very much the fault of the edit which left the Faramir-Boromir-Denethor flashback scene on the cutting room floor. With that scene intact, one is moved with a certain sympathy and understanding for Faramir. He's a man motivated by duty and by a desire to win the respect of his father. Without it, there is no sense whatsoever that there's anything noble or sympathetic motivating him, and he comes across simply as a glory-hound and an asshole. This in sharp contrast to Boromir, who was entirely sympathetic despite his flaws. Indeed, what made Boromir's story so tragic is that the Ring was able to use his good qualities -- his nobility, his desire to protect his people -- as hooks to twist him towards its own ends. This is, in fact, exactly what makes the ring so horrifying and dangerous in the first place. But you don't get any sense of that with Faramir at all, unfortunately.

    The other problem is that, as various writers and cast members and etc. say repeatedly on various extras, Faramir in the movie is supposed to have a character arc. He's supposed to start off as an opponent to the hobbits, have an emotional revelation, and change his mind. Which is all well and good, and may actually be more interesting characterization than what Tolkien does with him in the book. Unfortunately, they don't actually pull it off in any convincing manner. It's not remotely clear from the movie just at what point Faramir changes his mind, or why. The idea seems to have been that he finally realizes what the Ring did to Boromir, and recognizes that it cannot be used for good and must be destroyed. Which could have been very powerful, if we'd actually seen it happening. All we actually see, though, is Faramir being keen on taking the thing to Gondor one minute and content to let Sam and Frodo take off with it the next. Exactly what stimulus prompts this sudden change of heart is very, very unclear... And it really, really needs not to be to make both the scene and the character work, in my opinion.

    Mind you, I still love the movie to pieces, otherwise...

    Sunday, December 14, 2003

    The Usual Batch of Unconscious Mutterings

    1. Warning:: "A Distant Early Warning" (by Rush)
    2. Aspirations:: Dreams
    3. Starvation:: What time is lunch?
    4. Lid:: Container
    5. Sketch:: Pad
    6. Interrogate:: Garak
    7. Credit:: Card
    8. Scotch:: Tape
    9. Confused:: Dazed and...
    10. Paris:: France

    I think I'm in a really weird mood this morning...

    Saturday, December 13, 2003

    Ah, the Feeling of Accomplishment!

    All my Christmas shopping is done, wrapped, packed up, and ready to mail out. Go me!

    Friday, December 12, 2003

    My Scrooge-Like Friday Five Answers

    1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays? No. One of the things that I like about living here is that it doesn't snow all that much, and when it does it melts very quickly. I don't find cold weather in the winter nearly as bad as hot weather in the summer, but I can't say as I'm exactly fond of it. In fact, it's too damned cold here right now for my taste.

    2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect? Did I mention what an incredible humbug I'm being this year? Honestly, my notion of an ideal holiday "celebration" at his point consists of peace and quiet, opening prezzies that came in the mail, drinking hot cocoa, and possibly not changing out of my jammies all day on Christmas. Oh, yeah.

    3. Do you do have any holiday traditions? Aside from the usual exchange of Christmas gifts, not really. Yes, I am boring as well as humbuggy.

    4. Do you do anything to help the needy? Not as much as I should.

    5. What one gift would you like for yourself? A complete set of Deep Space 9 DVDs. But I'm sure nobody loves me quite that much.

    Thursday, December 11, 2003

    Search Request Thursday

    Bet you'd thought I'd forgotten, didn't you? Here's the latest batch:

  • Babs Bunny From Tiny Toons Naked: But she's got fur! Toons are never naked if they have feathers or fur. That's how so many of them can get away with not wearing pants.

  • flying "temporary crown": Alas, they didn't give my any nitrous oxide when they put my temporary crown on, so there was no "flying" involved.

  • ray bradbury leaking in the ceiling: Wow, I thought water leaking in the ceiling was bad, but that's got to be really disconcerting!

  • neon and the periodic elements: Neon's element #10. I've idly thought about getting a personalized license plate for my own Dodge Neon that says "Atom 10" or something, just to be really geeky, but I'm pretty sure I never will.

  • hoopy, douglas addams: Douglas Adams is, indeed, a hoopy frood. However, anybody who spells his last name wrong like that is clearly someone who doesn't know where their towel's at.

  • salad manufacture hygine: I advise washing the lettuce.

  • superglue bondage: Ouch!

  • Cheapest Lego Destroyer: Hmm. How about a hammer?

  • workings of a Brita filter: Well, mainly the workings of a Brita filter consist of, uh, a filter...

  • Sentimental Boobs 01: I have nothing to say about that one, but it amuses me highly to look at it.

  • Betty Boom pics: You know, Betty Boom sounds like a much cooler character than Betty Boop.

  • trivia question for christmas for dirty minded adults: Because "Christmas" and "dirty" just go hand-in-hand, after all.

  • hitchhiker guide ford towel "what does it do": Well, mainly having a towel just makes people think you're more competent than you are, really.

  • older women: I don't think I qualify yet.

  • naked pictures of the female characters from D&D: Well, I certainly don't have naked pictures of any of my characters...

  • "natural selection" skins pulse rifle: I wonder if they meant "Natural Election," since that was the name of a Farscape episode. Not sure there were any pulse rifles featured in that one, though.

  • legolas porn pics: Ah, yes, you can tell there's a new LotR movie coming out, because the hits from people looking for naughty pictures of Legolas have gone up again.

  • funny pps: Actually, there's something intrinsically funny about the abbreviation "pps," I think.

  • itching powder prank aunts: If I paid an itching powder prank on one of my aunts, they'd probably kick my ass. Or at least my mother would.

  • Harrison Jack Schmitt and Cernan conflict: Ooh, astronaut gossip!

  • orbit gum marketing strategy: Well, if they were aiming their marketing strategies at me, they'd be playing up the Blake's 7 connection. But nobody ever actually does market anything at me.

  • OTT tarrant strip quiz: Speaking of Blake's 7 connections... Having Tarrant stripping on the show would really have been OTT, if you ask me.

  • winnie-the-pooh coffeepot: You know, maybe that's why Piglet's so high-strung. He's been hitting the java pretty hard...

  • Aldous Huxley managed to, with the use of satire, ironic allusion, and foreshadowing to: Hmm. Thank you for that cogent piece of literary analysis.

  • "broadsword and the beast" translation elvish: Oh, god, I love the thought of Jethro Tull being sung in Elvish...

  • "The Sims" rivendell door window: Somehow, I think that if you plop Rivendell down in the middle of Sim City, it's going to lose some of its natural charm.

  • cartoon pictures of irony: Well, anvils are iron...

  • simpsons porn: My mind so does not want to go there.

  • whale mpg 02 03 porn: Ah, so that's what whale songs actually are! Porn!

  • croup and vandemar quotes: My favorite: CROUP: "You can't make an omelet without..." VANDEMAR: "...killing a few people."

  • machismo cowboy frontier: Go, Marlboro Man!

  • Socorro M Mountain picture: I don't have any pictures, I don't think, but I could see it out of my front door if it wasn't dark.

  • buy online Australia giles buffy review rating commentary season mail order fans site Gingerbread: So basically, anything whatsoever to do with the episode "Gingerbread," huh?

  • Hidden Goodies

    For those of you who have the Two Towers extended edition DVD, have you seen the Easter egg? I just watched it, and, man, that Gollum's got a mouth on him! Heh.
    Sleep Woes

    Whatever it is that keeps causing my eyes to snap open almost exactly six hours after I go to sleep, I wish it would stop. The sleep deficit I've accumulated this week is killing me. I'm half-expecting my relief to show up at work in the morning to find me slumped nose-down into a keyboard, snoring.

    Sigh. Maybe I can manage a nap before work or something...

    Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    Not Bad, Considering That I Did a Lot of Random Guessing.

    The Fellowship...but someone as smart as you already knows THAT!
    Are You a True Blue Lord of the Rings Fanatic?

    brought to you by Quizilla

    Of Course, It's Easier to Breathe on the Ocean Than in Space...

    As mentioned, I did go and see Master & Commander earlier tonight. A little slow in places, I thought, but I did enjoy it. It delivered pretty much exactly the mix of clever naval tactics, energetic fight scenes, and interpersonal angst that I expected, so I've got no complaints.

    And, man, it really is easy to slip into a Star Trek mindset when watching these sailing-ship movies. There's a scene early in the movie where the captain orders the ship into a fog bank to shake off the enemy vessel, and of course, I couldn't help but think, "Aha! The old run and hide in the nebula trick!" And for the rest of the movie, I kept half expecting to see Ricardo Montalban show up as the French privateer captain...

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    I'm Sailing Away...

    I'm thinking of going to see Master and Commander tonight, since it's playing at the crappy-but-cheap theater here in town. You know, in recent years I've found myself growing increasingly fond of stories set on the seas... Which shouldn't be too surprising, I suppose. The similarities to certain kinds of science fiction are obvious, particularly the action-adventure kinds of SF (both visual and written) that I enjoyed in my youth and am now old enough to start feeling nostalgic about. After all, as I understand it, the character of Captain Kirk was directly inspired by Horatio Hornblower. (Note to self: must read/watch more Hornblower.) And I remember watching the movie The Hunt for Red October and thinking what a good Star Trek episode it was. Not even that it would adapt into a good Star Trek episode, but that it pretty much already was one. Just read Romulans for Russians and a new cloaking device for the super-sub-stealth technology, and you're there.

    Further note to self: I believe Pirates of the Caribbean is now out on DVD. Must go and rent it. I still haven't quite forgiven myself for not getting out to see it in the theater.

    Monday, December 08, 2003

    A Holiday Quiz

    A Christmas Carol
    You are 'Christmas Time is Here, by Golly!', by Tom
    Lehrer. Hmm, you really don't like Christmas,
    do you? From the moment they start playing
    carols in the shops in October to the
    appearance of the first Easter Eggs in the
    shops on New Years Eve, the rampant hypocrisy
    of the Christmas spirit sets your teeth on
    edge. You know just how many family fights
    start over Christmas dinner, how many people
    are injured in the Boxing Day sales, and how
    few people actually find Christmas even
    remotely merry. You liked Scrooge far better
    before those ghosts got to him, and you are
    only doing this quiz because you are bored at
    work and anything is better than listening to
    everyone else discuss their Christmas shopping.
    Still, it is two days off work, which does
    count for something... Enjoy the break.

    What Christmas Carol are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Well, to be honest, it's really just this year that I've gone into full-fledged humbug mode. I'm already sick of the whole holiday thing, and am genuinely hoping to hide from humanity this year and to just spend the abovementioned two days off work at home with a good book. We'll see if I can pull it off or not.

    But, whoo-hoo! Tom Lehrer! I love Tom Lehrer!
    It's Currently Time to Do the "Currently" Thing Again.

    Current clothes: A dark-blue t-shirt from Powell's City of Books, featuring a picture of the skyline of a city which does, indeed, appear to consist of books. Tan jeans. White socks. White sneakers.

    Current mood: Kind of bleah. I went to bed last night at about 1:30 or 2:00 AM, and, in the interest of switching myself over to night shift, every time I woke up I told myself sternly to go back to sleep. Amazingly enough, this worked, and I ended up getting out of bed at 1:45 PM... At which point, I was feeling headachy and groggy from oversleep. A little ibuprofen and a lot of caffeine fixed the headache, but that strange, out-of-it feeling you get when you've seriously overslept has stayed with me.

    Current music: Currently in the stereo are Jimmy Buffett's Beach House on the Moon, The Best of Kansas, and The Caution Horses by the Cowboy Junkies. Currently in the portable player is Procol Harum's Greatest Hits.

    Current hair: Nice and short and happy. Got it cut right before I left for Jersey.

    Current annoyance: The fact that people keep wanting me to be social when what I really feel like is holing up by myself for a week and not talking to anybody at all.

    Current thing: Trying to get back into the rhythms of my life after being away for a week. Not very successfully, I might add.

    Current desktop picture: A lovely picture of Moya from Farscape. I'd link to it, but I don't remember where I got it from.

    Current song in head: Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

    Current book: I'm just about to start The Banquo Legacy by Andy Lane & Justin Richards. (Yet another Doctor Who novel.)

    Current video in player: Haven't had anything in the VCR for quite a while. I think the last thing was a Farscape tape I was dubbing for my sister. Currently in the DVD player is season 2 of Red Dwarf, which I was watching earlier with a friend.

    Current refreshment: Cold water. Except I see that I'm out of it. Damn. Time for another trip to the water cooler.

    Current worry: Getting stuff done that I need to get done in the next few weeks. Like my Christmas shopping.

    Current thought: If the playback quality on that Mauna Kea tape doesn't improve, I'm going to have to move it to another drive. (Sorry. I've got work-related stuff going on on the next monitor.)

    Yet Again Still More Quizzage

    Congratulations! You're Sam!

    Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Well, that was a weird one. But anything involving Sam is OK by me. And, you know, that insomnia thing might actually explain a lot...

    Sunday, December 07, 2003

    Yup, That's Me, Grammar Nazi.

    Grammar Fuhrer
    You are the grammar Fuhrer. All bow to your
    authority. You will crush all the inferior
    people under the soles of your jackboots, and
    any who question your motives will be
    eliminated. Your punishment is being the bane
    of every other person's existence, because
    you're constantly contradicting stupidity.
    Everyone will be gunning for you. Your dreams
    of a master race of spellers and grammarians
    frighten the masses. You must always watch your
    back. If only your power could be used for good
    instead of evil.

    What is your grammar aptitude?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    This must be accurate, too, because some of those incorrect-grammar choices were physically painful for me to read...
    That's What I'm Tolkien About!

    As I expected, my copy of the extended edition DVD of The Two Towers was waiting in my mailbox when I got back from vacation, but I only managed to find the time to watch it last night. As with the first movie, this one included a lot of extra footage, enough so that it was almost like watching an entirely different movie. And, again, as with the first movie, I can understand why most of these particular scenes were (reluctantly) cut. There's some great bits of character interaction (mainly between Merry & Pippin and between Aragorn & Eowyn, though there's some great comic relief from Gimli, too) and a few things that make the plot transitions a little smoother (like a short scene of Rohirrim soldiers finding the wounded Theodred on a battlefield), but for the most part none of it is anything that would have had a huge impact on the movie as a whole. There is one major exception, though: the much-talked-about flashback scene featuring Faramir and Boromir. Having that scene in the movie completely changes one's perception of Faramir, making him a much more sympathetic character and putting an entirely different spin on some of his dialog. Given the understandable accusations from Tolkien fans that the film effectively committed character assassination on Faramir, I do think it was a major mistake to have cut it. (Although, I have to say, I still don't really understand why he changes his mind when he does, unless he was just that moved by Sam's stirring oratory.)

    Anyway, to what I am sure will be no one's surprise, I enjoyed the extended version highly and definitely recommend it. And I'm now very psyched for Return of the King, not that I haven't been for, oh, about the past year.

    On that note, for those who haven't see it yet, I thought I'd pass along this list which Tamara forwarded to the Phoenix mailing list recently, and which gave me quite a chuckle. I'm not sure what the original attribution is, though, or I'd include it. Oh, and for those who haven't read the books, I suppose I should mention that it does contain spoilers.

    What NOT to do at Return of the King:

    1. Stand up halfway through the movie and yell loudly, "Wait... where the hell is Harry Potter?"

    2. Block the entrance to the theater while screaming: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" - After the movie, say "Lucas could have done it better."

    3. Play a drinking game where you have to take a sip every time someone says: "The Ring."

    4. Point and laugh whenever someone dies.

    5. Ask everyone around you if they think Gandalf went to Hogwarts.

    6. Finish off every one of Elrond's lines with "Mr. Anderson."

    7. When Aragorn is crowned king, stand up and at the top of your lungs sing, "And I did it.... MY way...!"

    8. Talk like Gollum all through the movie. At the end, bite off someone's finger and fall down the stairs.

    9. Dress up as old ladies and reenact "The Battle of Helms Deep" Monty Python style.

    10. When Denethor lights the fire, shout "Barbecue!"

    11. In TTT when the Ents decide to march to war, stand up and shout "RUN FOREST, RUN!"

    12. Every time someone kills an Orc, yell: "That's what I'm Tolkien about!" See how long it takes before you get kicked out of the theatre.

    13. During a wide shot of a battle, inquire, "Where's Waldo?"

    14. Talk loudly about how you heard that there is a single frame of a nude Elf hidden somewhere in the movie.

    15. Start an Orc sing-a-long.

    16. Come to the premiere dressed as Frankenfurter and wander around looking terribly confused.

    17. When they go in the paths of the dead, wait for tense moment and shout, "I see dead people!"

    18. Imitate what you think a conversation between Gollum, Dobby and Yoda would be like.

    19. Release a jar of daddy-long-legs into the theater during the Shelob scene.

    20. Wonder out loud if Aragorn is going to run for governor of California.

    21. When Shelob comes on, exclaim, "Man! Charlotte's really let herself go!"
    Unconscious Mutterings

    1. Blizzard:: Snow
    2. J:: K
    3. Control:: Freak
    4. Blood:: Donor
    5. Mysterious:: Alien
    6. Annoying:: Traits
    7. Throat:: Sore
    8. Condom:: "You're about as much use as a condom machine in the Vatican!"
    9. Search:: Engine
    10. Heartfelt:: Sobs

    1,000 trivia points to anyone who can identify where the condom quote comes from.

    Saturday, December 06, 2003

    Another Dumb Quiz, Because I'm Still Procrastinating on a Zillion Things...

    Stand Up
    STAND UP: You are a natural stand-up comedian. You
    watch the news with people, and when you give
    your opinions, people start laughing. They are
    not laughing at you, they are laughing because
    what you say is so TRUE. The world is a very
    funny place, full of natural comedy. All you do
    is repeat various humorous things that you
    notice from everyday life. Your unique
    perspective on the world is what makes you so
    funny. Of all the various comedy types, you may
    be the funniest of them all!


    How funny are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    I feel like I ought to say something amusing at this point, but I just can't think of anything...
    There and Back Again?

    It seems that Peter Jackson is quite keen to do a film version of The Hobbit on the heels of the LotR trilogy. Ian McKellan thinks it's a great idea. Apparently Tolkien's heirs don't. Personally, I'm with Sir Ian all the way...

    I just took a look at my work schedule, and it's a damned good thing I did... Somehow, I'd gotten it into my head that when I went back in to work after my vacation, I'd be on morning shift. Well, I'm not. I'm on nights. Which really kind of sucks, given that I'm still on east coast time, and I've been waking up at about 7:00 in the morning (an utterly ridiculous hour for me). Looks like I'm gonna be imbibing a lot of caffeine tonight, as I've now only got one day to switch myself over. Oops.
    Holiday Fun

    Go, on, shake the snow globe! It's good, clean, holiday fun!

    Friday, December 05, 2003

    *Giggle* *Snort*

    I'm still having fun with this screenplay thing. I tried it on the blog's November archives pages, with results that were mostly fairly similar to the one based on the current posts page, but was highly amused by the film's stirring conclusion:

    FADE TO.


    is making a wedding toast.


    Still more proof that
    evolution simply does
    not build things to last.


    Hear, hear.


    What I'd really like,
    though, is to see the
    animated series released on DVD.

    Everybody laughs


    Hahahahahaha!!!! Oh
    are one of a kind.


    Yeah, I certainly am...
    Hollywood, Here I Come!

    Even more interesting than Maximum Verbosity in Spanish, it's Maximum Verbosity: The Screenplay! This completely cracked me up. Especially the very first dialog exchange, which actually had me laughing so hard I was choking on my own spit. Seriously. Of course, I admit to being fairly easily amused.

    You can turn your own website into a screenplay, too, by going here. But I get first crack at the studios!

    (Link via The Presurfer.)
    I Think This Is My Favorite Quiz From At Least the Past Month.

    You'll probably be the first one to die anyway
    Determined Survivor
    Methodical, calm,
    focussed. All the traits Mother Nature was
    thinking of when she earmarked a species for
    survival. You look before you leap, but you
    don't hesitate too long. You'll probably be the
    first one to die anyway as someone else panics
    and dooms you both. The universe, and movie
    cliche, is ironic that way. Still, chin up!

    How's Your Survival Instinct?
    brought to you by Quizilla
    A Leftover Friday Five

    There is no Friday Five this week, but seeing as I didn't do last week's, I figured I might as well use that one. So:

    1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not? Clothes shopping is kind of tedious, and grocery shopping can be, but I love shopping for fun stuff. Like books.

    2. What was the last thing you purchased? A Christmas present for my sister. I'm not going to say what it is, because, although she's mostly offline at the moment, with my luck she'd somehow manage to read this anyway. It's rather more than I'd really intended to spend, but it was a bargain I couldn't resist, and I know she's going to like it. So I'm pretty happy!

    3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why? Online, if there's something specific I'm looking for, and I know where to look for it. It's much easier and (usually) faster, and it means I don't have to interact with actual human beings. Plus, I live about 85 miles from the nearest shopping mall. On the other hand, if you don't know where to find a particular item, it can be difficult to track down what you're looking for online. And if you don't know what you're looking for, it's hard to browse. And for many kinds of items, it's difficult to be completely sure of exactly what you're getting unless you see it in person. So brick-and-mortar stores still have their place in my universe.

    4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it? I got a very irregular allowance, as I recall. It wasn't a fixed amount of money every week. If there was something specific I wanted money for, I'd tell my parents, and they'd either give it to me, tell me I couldn't have it, or say, "OK, do some chores and we'll give you an allowance for the next few weeks" or something.

    5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing? A DVD set that it turned out I already had. Oops!

    Thursday, December 04, 2003

    Yet Another Pointless Quiz

    Yeah, I know, 250 e-mails in my inbox to answer, and I'm doing this...

    Which Survivor of the Impending Nuclear Apocalypse Are You?
    A Rum and Monkey joint.

    According to the description:
    You missed the full-on war that caused the widespread death of so many people because you were making yourself another espresso at the company's snack kitchen. Your life isn't anything of value, but you're here anyway - might as well make the most of it and set up a .com to rent movies to half-melted soldier carcasses. A couple of banner ads and you'll be laughing, you sick new media parasite.

    Well, it's nice to have my apocalypse all planned out in advance, I suppose.
    Search Request Thursday

    I doubtless missed a lot of these while I was gone, but here's what I've got this week:

  • plumbers putty bomb dogs: I have no idea what that's about, but I'm quite sure that I want no part of it.

  • simpsons and satire lesson plans gulliver: This, on the other hand, I would love to be involved in, because it sounds like a hell of a fun class!

  • star trek frell term coined: Sorry. Star Trek does not get the credit for that one!

  • "wormholes" how to tell if furniture is good quality cherry wood: You know, I sometimes forget that the word "wormhole" can actually also be used for holes made by worms.

  • seinfeld cartoon porn: It wouldn't surprise me if there was some on the net somewhere.

  • malcolm x speech monolog: I think he did a lot of those.

  • "mmmm shiny" things simpsons: Mmm, Simpsons googles...

  • "Key to Time" dvd problem: I think the problem is that none of the Key to Time segments manifested as a DVD. If you're trying to fit a DVD into your Key to Time structure, it's no wonder it's not working!

  • Unforgiven "vigilante justice" -Mystic -River: I wonder how mystics and rivers were managing to confuse the issue.

  • "Vancouver" "psychic frauds": Those damned psychic frauds get everywhere.

  • watch 3d cartoon comics nude in quicktime: No thanks. It's a little chilly in my computer room at the moment to sit around watching quicktime movies in the nude.

  • movie with an allusion to catcher in the rye: I'm just impressed that somebody besides me seems to know the difference between "allusion" and "illusion"!

  • tabloid nude pics: You do realize that those are probably all fakes?

  • are marot faster than weasels: If I had a clue what a "marot" was, I might be able to answer that. But as far as I know, he was just some French poet guy. Hmm. Are French poets faster than weasels?

  • second hand hunter wellies: I dunno. I think those would be pretty high up the list of things I'd prefer to buy new.

  • will deleting the teddy bear virus ruin your computer: No. But it will make you look like an idiot.

  • farscape blake's 7 crossover: I've always said I'd like to write one, just so I could put two one-eyed maniacs in a room together and see what happens. But I almost certainly never actually will, 'cause that'd involve having to write Plot, and stuff.

  • "health and safety" computer lesson quiz ergonomics: I'd probably fail that quiz. My ergonomics suck. Even with the $900 adjustable chair I sit in at work.
  • Dental Update

    I'm sure everybody's been waiting with bated breath for the last week, wondering how well my new crown's working out. Right? Well, the answer turned out to be "very well." After a couple of days, it felt completely comfortable, and it performed just fine over the orgy of eating that was the Thanksgiving holidays. So I called up my dentist first thing this morning to see about getting it cemented in permanently. As it happens, they were able to fit me in this morning (although I had to spend about an hour and a half sitting in the waiting room for a ten-minute procedure), so it's now become an irrevocable addition to the population of my mouth.

    But I'm not allowed to eat any caramels today until the glue dries.
    A Couple of Quizzes Snurched From Still Life With Woodpecker

    you are paleturquoise

    Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

    Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

    Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
    the html color quiz

    Hmm, except for possibly that thing about solving other people's problems, that's not at all inaccurate.

    You are MARLIN!
    What Finding Nemo Character are You?

    brought to you by Quizilla

    Just don't ask me to tell the joke about the sea cucumber and the mollusk...

    Wednesday, December 03, 2003

    ...And I'm Back!

    Yep, that's right, I've arrived safe and sound back in Socorro, and am once again sitting in front of my own dear, familiar PC. It's good to be back!

    Honestly, I didn't intend to completely neglect you all while I was gone. I actually tried to stop by and blog a couple of times, but was thwarted at every turn. The first time, Blogger appeared to be down completely. Then, when I tried it again a couple of days ago, it appeared to accept my password just fine, but wouldn't show me my blogs. Although that problem may have been on my end, not Blogger's, I don't know. I gather they've had some major problems in the past week or so, anyway. According to Greta, apparently at one point my blog was showing up in Spanish. That must have been interesting.

    Anyway, the trip went very well. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but by sheer coincidence, it happened that my sister and I were on the same connecting flight from Cincinnati (she having flown in from Portland, I from Albuquerque), and I was able to get us seats together when I booked. So we both got in together on Thursday evening, about the same time as my mother arrived from California.

    Thursday night, we spent at my aunt's house. (That's my mother's older sister. Pay attention, here, because you're going to need a scorecard to keep all the relatives straight!) On Friday, we went to my other aunt's house -- that's my mother's younger sister -- for the big turkey dinner, as cooked by my grandmother. Which was, to say the least, an interesting experience... My aunt was still in the process of moving in and hadn't even moved all the cookware over when we arrived. Add in the fact that the house was so full of people (many of whom hadn't seen each other in months or years) that no fire marshal on Earth would have approved it as safe, and, honestly, the only possible word to describe it is "pandemonium." A fairly pleasant pandemonium, and one with lots of great food, but utter chaos all the same.

    The next couple of nights, we spent at my mother's younger brother's house. (Well, actually she's got two younger brothers, but we only crashed with one of them. Confused yet?) And it was pandemonium there, too, between the two-year-old (aka my utterly adorable, but very noisy and active nephew), the teenager with the friend sleeping over, the small yappy dog, and god only knows what else I'm forgetting. It was great to see everybody again, and in a way I really wish I'd gotten to spend more time... But the whole experience definitely has me thinking that I've gotten far too used to living on my own. And that I'm quite happy to continue to do so, if only because there's nobody in my house trying to communicate by just calling people's names at the top of their voice, and figuring that wherever they are, they're bound to answer if you yell long enough.

    Anyway, after that my sister and I went to my dad's place for a few days, which was much quieter, even if we did bring the two-year-old with us. Did I mention that he's adorable? Because he's adorable. But he also never stops being two, which becomes rather exhausting. I have much, much respect for my sister just for being able to keep up with him day after day!

    And all of that sounds incredibly boring, I know, but mostly I went back to visit people, not places. So we did a lot of what I can only refer to as "hanging out," which was a lot more fun to do that it would be to write about. Well, we did make a trip to the New Jersey State Aquarium, which, while not very big, really had some pretty high-quality exhibits. The nephew loved it, but then he's had a thing about fish ever since he saw Finding Nemo, apparently. And I can now say I've petted a shark.

    So, yeah. That's my exciting and fascinating trip to New Jersey! How've you been? (I ask here because it's probably going to take me ages just to get caught up on my e-mail.)

    And, oh, yeah, just because I forgot to mention before I left, as has apparently become traditional... Books read on this trip were: the last 150 pages or so of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt, Metaphors We Live By by by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, and the first 100 pages or so of Ursula K. LeGuin's Changing Planes. For the record.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2003

    And I'm Off!

    Well, this will probably be the last post you'll see from me for a few days, as I'm catching a plane first thing in the morning bound for Points East. Or, more specifically, for my aunt's place in Delaware, and my Dad's place in New Jersey.

    We're not actually being terribly traditional about Thanksgiving this year... My mother couldn't get off work to fly in today, so we're all flying in tomorrow (which is cheaper, anyway) and doing the turkey thing on Friday.

    My internet access over the next week is likely to be sporadic, at best, as I'll be reliant on the kindness of relatives for computer time while I'm gone. I have the feeling that, now that I'm acquainted with the joys of broadband, my withdrawal symptoms are likely to be particularly pronounced this time. Poor me...

    Anyway, for those of you who celebrate the holiday, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! For those who don't, have a wonderful November 27th. And I'll be back in a week, if I don't see you before then. Ta-ta!
    Search Request... Wednesday?

    OK, I've got to get up at an insanely early hour tomorrow morning to catch a plane, and I still have a lot of packing and other stuff I've got to do, in addition to the fact that I keep suddenly thinking of just one more thing I want to do online. So there's not going to be any witty (or even lame) comments this time, but I figured I'd at least post the latest batch of interesting search requests before I go. You can have a competition among yourselves to give them amusing captions while I'm gone, if you like.


    1st birthday invitation wording poetic script
    aliens trilogy and literary references 'the company' 'nostromo'
    answering machine clips spock unable to respond
    babies having sex pictures
    beatles and haroun and the sea of stories
    "betty bad" cracked
    betty page actually
    boobs photo manipulation software
    cheapest hong kong phooey videos
    definition of Rocinante - nagging woman
    ds9 transcripts episode blood clean did nothing cried woman
    embarrassing nude moments
    evil Thanksgiving Turkey pics
    farscape rumors
    granny stark's cookbook
    knick knack drop shipper
    kotex pictures
    livejournal, self pics nude
    NEMONE pics
    pictures of my sister naked
    "polo shirt" template .eps
    professor frink shower wav
    research's speech acts in comics
    Rockne S. O'Bannon "red tape"
    screencaps of nude male celebrities
    sims unleashed downloads without giving it my password
    slash jude wilde
    tamara and scotty porn
    Thanksgiving limericks
    tombstone limericks
    toons porn forced
    trineer stalker
    vote nude
    Which personality used the catch phrase "it never rains but it pours"
    willow halloween costume screencaps
    yar's revenge wav

    Things I Wonder About, #962

    Why does my mother feel the need to talk to me on the phone for an hour about inconsequentialities when she's only going to see me tomorrow?

    Tuesday, November 25, 2003

    Book Meme

    Fred Coppersmith of Occasional Fish posts the following meme that I've seen floating around the net. Like him, I'm not completely sure what the point is, but then, I do a lot of stuff that seems pretty pointless...

    So. The idea is that you take a list of authors from whoever you're snurching the meme from, remove the ones that aren't present on your bookshelves, and replace them with ones that are. So, here we go:

    Fred's List:

    Paul Auster
    Ursula K. Le Guin
    Michael Chabon
    Neil Gaiman
    William Faulkner
    Philip Roth
    George R.R. Martin
    Octavia Butler
    William Shakespeare
    Neal Stephenson

    My List:

    Christopher Moore
    Ursula K. Le Guin
    Michael Chabon
    Neil Gaiman
    Mark Twain
    Philip Pullman
    George R.R. Martin
    Octavia Butler
    William Shakespeare
    Neal Stephenson

    There. Wasn't that exciting?

    Monday, November 24, 2003

    Heavy Lies the Tooth That Wears the Crown.

    Well, I'm back from my latest encounter with the dentist... And it was in some ways more annoying, and in other ways less annoying than I'd anticipated. To begin with, they were really short-handed at the dentist's office, and I had to sit in the waiting room for over an hour after arriving on-time for my appointment. And the people working on me kept being interrupted to deal with other things. On the other hand, apparently all the major pain and suffering took place during the prep work and the fitting of the temporary crown, because they didn't even give me any Novocaine this time. Which, I admit, made me nervous, because I kept worrying that they were underestimating the amount of agony involved, or perhaps they'd simply forgotten they were supposed to numb me. But, while there was a little pain, it was minimal enough that even a complete weenie like me can't reasonably complain about it. On the other other hand, though, it seemed to take them forever to grind the thing down to the point where it kinda-sorta fit in my mouth, and even now it feels very wrong and strange. It's hard to tell if that's because there's something wrong with the crown or the way it's fitted, or whether it's simply just that I'm not used to having it. So they stuck it in with temporary glue and told me to come back in a couple of weeks, and if it's OK they'll glue it in permanently, and if it's not, they'll see about fixing it. Sigh. And there I thought I was finally going to be done with dentists for a while...
    One of Those Days

    I was messing around on the computer this morning, trying to do some stuff that you'd think ought to be very simple (mainly adding text to images) and having great difficulty getting it to come out the way I wanted it to. So I got up to take a break and went to use the bathroom. Whereupon the toilet promptly clogged up and flooded all over the place. After using damn near every towel in the bathroom to clean up the resultant mess, I went to stick them in the washing machine... Only to discover that the washing machine isn't working. I suspect the incoming water lines might have frozen in the night. (Yikes!)

    And now I'm thinking that this would be a really, really good day to go back to bed, pull the covers up over my head, and hide from the world. Only I can't, because I've got yet another dentist appointment in a few hours, for them to finally put on my permanent crown. And now I'm feeling really, really nervous...

    Sunday, November 23, 2003

    Oh, Look. It's Winter.

    It is really cold out today. Well, OK, it is by New Mexico standards, anyway. While I was driving around at about 11:30 this morning, the big temperature display at the bank said 36 degrees, and I don't think it warmed up much at all after that. And now the sun's going down, the skies are clear, and it's obviously going to be a cold, cold night.

    I've got lots of stuff I probably ought to be doing, but somehow all I feel like is taking a nice hot bath and then crawling under the covers with a mug of cocoa and a book. This despite the fact that it's only five o'clock in the afternoon...
    By the Way...

    Happy 40th Anniversary, Doctor Who!

    Man, it's hard to believe that it's been 15 years since "Silver Nemesis..."
    DVD Update

    My (probably doomed) attempt not to fall as far behind on my DVD-watching as on my book-reading continues... This weekend, I've been watching Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman's surrealistic little tale of a strange, magical version of London which co-exists invisibly with the mundane version inhabited by most people.

    I have to say, it took me a little while to get into this, despite having quite enjoyed the book version. Or, perhaps in part, because I enjoyed the book version. Many of the characters were sufficiently different on the screen to how I imagined them in my head to take me aback slightly. (Which is a little odd, really, since the book was written after the miniseries, doubtless with the TV actors actually in mind.) It was also hampered, rather unfortunately, by low production values. Or, no, one particular "low production value," really, since the sets and costumes and everything looked just fine. The problem is that the whole thing was shot on videotape. And, worse still, according to Gaiman, it was supposed to have undergone some processing afterward to make it look more like film, so they lit it for film. And then whatever it was that was supposed to be done to it never got done. The result is that the visuals, which desperately need to make us believe that these strange places are real, instead feel very flat and fake. A damned shame, really. Still, by about episode two or three, I was so used to the video quality that I scarcely even noticed it any more. And the on-screen portrayals of the characters had become so firmly entrenched in my head that it'd become difficult to imagine any other possibilities for most of them at all. At which point I was able to just settle down and really start enjoying the thing.

    Neverwhere does feature some truly great characters. I'm particularly enamored of the Marquis de Carabas. And the guy playing him has the coolest smile, absolutely perfect for the character. Then there's misters Croup and Vandemar, the two most entertainingly disturbing characters you're ever likely to meet. Their respective actors handle them quite beautifully, too. It would have been very easy to ruin those particular characters with overacting, but they manage to achieve exactly the right balance of comedy and creepiness.

    So, it's good stuff, overall, even if it did take me a little while to come to that conclusion. I'm glad I decided to pick it up. I am a little disappointed by the relative lack of extras on the discs, though. There's a very good interview will Gaiman, but aside from the commentary track, that's about it. As for the commentary itself, well, I've only listened to the first couple of episodes of that, but I haven't found it terribly exciting. Neil Gaiman is a fascinating guy, and I always find it interesting to hear what he has to say about his work. But he's apparently watching the show for the first time in years as he's recording the commentary, and he seems to find it a bit difficult thinking of things to say about a lot of it. Ah, well. It's not like I bought it for the commentary track, anyway, right?
    Still More Unconscious Mutterings

    1. Concert:: Hall
    2. Sydney:: Australia
    3. Shower:: Bathtub
    4. Patterns:: Ripples
    5. Market:: Place
    6. Chair:: Comfy
    7. London:: England (didn't we have this one before?)
    8. Reception:: Static
    9. Republican:: Party
    10. Cough:: Drop

    Hmm, sorry. I think those were kind of boring this time...

    Saturday, November 22, 2003

    Courtesy of a Loyal Reader...

    What happens when I casually mention that I haven't seen a particular internet quiz which somebody googled in here looking for? Somebody goes and points one out to me, of course, because heavens forbid that I should miss a stupid quiz. Thank you, Loyal Reader Nico!

    Interestingly, it turns out that I am:

    You are Turanga Leela.
    Very reasonable and down-to-earth.

    Futurama Personality Test
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Not a result that I would have expected, but given the alternatives, I'll take it!

    Friday, November 21, 2003

    Friday Five

    1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year. Hmm. I've got a couple of writing projects I'd like to get finished. I need to get my Christmas shopping done, obviously. I'd kind of like to clean up and organize all the junk in the computer room, but I kind of doubt that's going to happen. I'd like to manage not to get any farther behind on my DVD-watching, though with everything that's coming out before the end of the year, that's probably not very likely, either. Is that five things?

    2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again. Well, I'm not going to name names, but let's see... There's a couple of people from college who qualify, one of whom I've been in sporadic communication with since, and one of whom I haven't. I suppose there's a person or two from high school I'd be pleasantly surprised to get an e-mail from. And some part of me is suggesting adding my ex to the list, if only because I sometimes wonder how he's doing, but it's probably just as well if I ignore that thought...

    3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do. Web programming. Taking screen captures from my computer's DVD drive (although I think I'd need extra software for that). Editing video on the computer. Umm... You know, I can't think of any more. At least, not anything particularly realistic, or that I'd enjoy learning how to do, rather than just miraculously knowing how to do and being good at it. I guess I'm just not very ambitious.

    4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit). Quit my job. Ditch the crappy trailer I'm living in and get a decent house. With a library. Go on a spending spree at Amazon and buy several thousand dollars worth of DVDs and CDs. Go to science fiction conventions in England. A week or two ago, I probably would have said, "Give several million dollars to the Henson company to help them make more Farscape," but they seem to have that covered now.

    5. List five things you do that help you relax. Take a hot bath. Read a good book. Drink tea (preferably peppermint). Listen to Pachelbel's Canon in D (aka the only classical tune I'll actually cross the street to listen to). Pet a purring cat.

    Thursday, November 20, 2003

    Search Request Thursday

    Back by popular demand, this week's installment once again features my own irrelevant, smart-assed, or just plain stupid comments on the various search request phrases that have brought people here to this blog. Although why on Earth you people want me to keep doing this, I'll surely never know...

    Anyway, here's the latest (and rather large) batch:

  • film apollo 13 fact from fiction: Actually, while it was, of course, a dramatization, I think that movie in general was remarkably historically accurate.

  • catastrophic size boobs and pics: Wow. I wonder how big they have to be to qualify as "catastrophic?"

  • comic verbosity: Well, I do at least try to amuse...

  • false tooth joke: I don't think I've heard that one.

  • cartoony pics of solar system: Hmm, there's a joke to be made here about Pluto, I just know there is...

  • Conner Trineer childhood: I seem to be getting a lot of hits involving this guy, and I couldn't figure out why, until it suddenly hit me: at some point, I spelled his name wrong. And now everybody who can't spell "Connor" is ending up here.

  • "Blake's seven" "andromeda" Alas, Andromeda started out promisingly Blake's 7-y, but it just didn't last.

  • avon campaign #2 + friends DVDs: Speaking of Blake's 7... I just can't see Avon being a fan of Friends. Heh.

  • lady porn sex mov mpg: Not sure any chicks you're likely to turn up that way really qualify as "ladies..."

  • fox family scares places on earth tv: Next week: Fox Family scares the Grand Canyon!

  • farscape background tiles: Ooh, I want some Farscape tiles for my kitchen floor!

  • pictures of all sesame street characters: Apropos of nothing, I just wish to mention here that my own personal favorite Sesame Street character was Oscar the Grouch.

  • "able to do the math" students science: Personally, I always found I had an easier time understanding math when I was actually applying it in a science class, rather than trying to learn it on its own in a math class. Not that you asked.

  • star trek porn troi cartoon: I always thought there was something slightly cartoonish about Troi.

  • vanishing point next airing on pacific time: I dunno. As they say, "Check your local listings."

  • guy sucks carrie ann moss toes: Well, here's hoping she washed her feet first...

  • pasttime porn pics: Hey, there are worse pastimes than looking at porn pics, I guess.

  • Why Don Quixote, was in favor of the war in the movie "Miguel de Cervantes" I wasn't aware that he was.

  • Futurama personality quiz: Hey, in all my compulsive quiz-taking, I haven't seen one of those! Probably just as well. I'd be hoping for the Professor and would doubtless end up as Fry.

  • buffy clips caleb: Hey, she did a lot more than clip him. Heh.

  • pics of celebrities in bathtubs: Is it just me, or has the tabloid mentality gone way too far?

  • How to teach hygine to young child by pictures: Because none of us can spell well enough to do it using words.

  • shy loner goths: Me, I was a shy loner nerd.

  • illuminati deluxe cards stats post office: I could tell you, but then I'd have to have you eliminated.

  • Simpsons Transcripts Election Treehouse: "Don't blame me! I voted for Kodos!"

  • farscape cartoon porn: Ah, the unpublicized missing scenes from "Revenging Angel"...

  • chiana goth: Just because she's all monochromatic doesn't make her a goth.

  • Harveys casino bomb: Are we still talking about Farscape characters? Harvey says he's never bombed a casino in his life, although he is a bit proud of his help with [spoiler deleted].

  • big bird thanksgiving cartoon I already make a joke about Big Bird and Thanksgiving turkeys last time I did this, didn't I?

  • Thanksgiving trivia questions: Coming soon: the all-new Trivial Pursuit Thanksgiving Edition! (Hey, at the rate they're going, it wouldn't surprise me. Have you seen some of the weird-ass Trivial Pursuit games they've got out now?)

  • "evil shouldn't look this good" shirt: Oh, yeah, I remember suggesting that one for Servalan. Not that she'd wear it.

  • pics of balsa tower: Better snap those fast, before a good stiff wind comes along.

  • Harry Potter and relgious concerns: Hmm, "relgious" does sound like the kind of word they'd use in a spell in the Potter books, doesn't it?

  • dalek ornament: Deck the halls with Dalek plungers, exterminate, la, la, la, la!

  • Buffy "Nick Knight" crossover: No, don't do that! She'd stick a stake in him, and he's far too pretty too die!

  • Who was financed on the voyage: Not me. Which is a pity. I could use a little travel money.

  • funny thanksgiving turkey pilgrim pictures: Damn. I'm running out of Thanksgiving jokes to make.

  • "Jimmy Buffet" "look over my shoulder": *Peers over Jimmy's shoulder* "Watcha doin', Jimmy? Makin' margaritas? Can I help?"

  • children's teenage putdown joke: You know, most kids I've met haven't really been notable for the witty quality of their putdowns.

  • brodie childers naked: I've never even heard of this person, much less seen him naked.

  • Arwen All Nude Pics: Well, it makes a change from all those hits I used to get from people looking for nude pics of Legolas.

  • video game based screen themes: Because even when you're not playing video games on your computer, it should feel like you are!

  • jekyll critters expansion: Do they turn into Hyde critters when you expand them?

  • bunioned feet army: We are the Army of Bunioned Feet! We'd stomp you to death, but it would hurt too much.

  • maps of chinas deltas: Sorry. I've got a map of Albuquerque in my car, but that's about it.

  • Italy/leaning tower facts: It's a tower. It's leaning. HTH.

  • gallifrey recipes: Somehow, I just don't see the Time Lords as being very good cooks. Probably because, as aliens go, they're just far too British.

  • nude picture of guys: Big guys, little guys, short guys, ugly guys! We don't care! As long as they're guys!

  • WEAR A NUN: That sounds uncomfortable. And not just for the nun.

  • new buffy spinoff "2004": Hmm, I haven't heard anything about this. Anybody?

  • Describe your personalities in 3 adjectives: Is that one adjective for each of my three personalities, or three adjectives each?

  • "karen shaw" farscape: Heh. I did talk about how, on my first viewing of that particular episode, I had to hit the pause button at that point and spend several minutes going, "Oh, dear god, no!", right?

  • bunions feet blog: I've heard of keeping blogs for your pets, but keeping a blog for your bunions seems to me to be going a little too far.

  • "i got nothing" george seinfeld soul: George has nothing for a soul? Poor George. (I know, this is doubtless some well-known Seinfeld quote I'm not recognizing, because my viewing of that show was sporadic and not at all recent.)

  • "cleverest plot twists": I'm tempted to make up a Top Ten list for these, but I won't.

  • sims skins philip pullman: I suppose they mean sims skins for his characters?

  • calvin hobbes quote "laugh" "scary though": Hmm, I have a complete collection of Calvin & Hobbes comics, but, I must admit, I fail at identifying that quote, whatever it might be. No trivia points for me.

  • carrie ann moss vomit: Eww. That's much worse than the thing with the toes.

  • cocaine pics: It really isn't all that impressive looking. Or so television tells me.

  • halloween and boobs: Because every search request gets more interesting when you gratuitously add the word "boobs!"

  • Rocinante definition: That was Don Quixote's horse, wasn't it? Do I get trivia points for that?