Friday, January 31, 2003

Poem for Friday

Strong Women Can Say No
By Marge Piercy

A strong woman is a woman who is straining.
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tiptoe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing Boris Godunov.
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talk about
how much she doesn't mind crying, it opens
the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears
in her nose.

A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren't you feminine, why aren't
you soft, why aren't you quiet, why
aren't you dead?

A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way through a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you're so strong.

A strong woman is a woman bleeding
inside. A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now
every battle a scar. A strong woman
is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.

A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling,
she is not strong as stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is strongly afraid.


Spent too much time being influenced by many Devil's Minions yesterday so am behind now. I did watch last week's Andromeda while folding laundry, and wanted to note that while I hate hate hate Nietzschean-hag gratuitous-love-interest Beka, I am totally enamored of the Dylan-Gaheris onscreen slash and think they need to keep reincarnating the latter again and again.

Boy it's fun watching that show without having to review it, being able to respond on a purely emotional level without thinking too much. This episode gave us a look at Andromeda without Captain Hunt, and while Rhade clearly doesn't have the stuff to build a Commonwealth, he does let us see how certain episodes would have played out with...with...with a lead actor who has real emotional range! Not that I am complaining about Sorbo. I love him, I find him completely charming and engaging. But Rhade-in-tears is just...gah! What is up with all the fic-writers who can't tolerate men crying? There are few things as sexy as a guy broken up because he's lost the man he loves...

Friday Media Alerts: From CNN, Bishops Seek Saint For Internet: Hopeless Clickers Urge Vatican To Name Protector

The New York Times on Marsden Hartley and Modernism

Also from the Times, Kristof on Flogging the French

The giant howl for the day, from The Onion: U.N. Orders Wonka To Submit To Chocolate Factory Inspections!

And making me smile, from Entertainment Weekly, Jim Mullen's HotSheet:
"Meta: The current word for movies about making movies, novels about writing novels, art about art...It replaces the words pretentious inside joke."

Off to work in my kids' school library. Hope all the Minions have had lovely afternoons.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Poem for Thursday

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?

O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,
        He comes to brood and sit.

* * * *

Gacked from :

The Thursday Thirteen

1 - How many pens do you own? Five really good ones -- two Cross pens that were Bat Mitzvah presents, a Parker that was a present at some point from a friend of my parents', a hand-made wooden fountain pen and a top-of-the-line Papermate that I won in a high school writing contest. Otherwise I have four inexpensive refillable fountain pens and about eight decent ballpoints, and then piles of disposables.

2 - How many notebooks? In the bottom of my nighttable I have perhaps twelve journals kept over the years of quotes, poetry and stuff. I have two looseleaf binders filled with notes on my dreams. And I have uncountable notebooks saved from college classes, grad school, teaching, work, stuff with kids, etc. I'd guess there are about 40.

3 - Do you have any bad habits you want to break? Dozens. Overeating, procrastinating on exercise, procrastinating on work, losing my temper over things I can't control...

4 - Do you keep a personal journal that no one sees? Have you ever? Not at the moment, other than the dreams I write down. I used to keep diaries but have never stuck with it very long. I'm more inclined just to write down things I want to remember and save them in a file.

5 - If there were no obstacles to you living anywhere in the world you wanted, where would it be? Someplace beachfront but not too far from forest and from a major metropolitan area.

6 - What's your favorite color and is there a reason it's your favorite? Green. Always has been. I guess I'm a nature girl.

7 - Is Coca-Cola the real thing? Hell yes. There are no substitutes.

8 - What is your favorite animal and why? In general I love animals. Have two cats to whom I am very attached but I grew up with a dog to whom I was very attached and have had an assortment of gerbils, hamsters and other small rodents. I like snakes and most reptiles, I like birds and have often had parakeets as pets. Have never cared for a big animal like a horse but love them too.

9 - How much sleep a night do you need? Cannot survive with less than seven; I get migraines. Prefer 8+.

10 - Do you know what Blue's Clues is? If yes, are you sad that Steve left? Yes and somewhat, though my kids had outgrown it when Steve left so it didn't make an enormous personal impact.

11 - Is a box of brand new crayons (the big one with 96 colors) and a pad of blank paper an invitation to draw or to write? Absolutely!

12 - Do you eat ice cream in the winter? What is your favorite flavour? Sometimes, though I'm much less likely to stop in Baskin Robbins for the hell of it in the winter. My favorite it mint chip.

13 - Is it cold enough for you? Yes. Don't like it really hot but wouldn't want it much colder.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

TV, Politics and the Usual

Am pondering finales, having watched a Dawson's Creek preview for the winding-down episodes of the series and having read several LJ entries by people in Australia who have finally gotten to see the X-Files finale. For me the XF finale was worse than was boring. I had trouble staying focused through parts of it, wasn't even interested to see so many of the old characters because it was so obvious that their plot threads would be left to dangle perpetually. Had hated Scully ever since her major goal in life became to have a child of her own flesh, had hated her even more since she gave away said child in the name of Noble Maternal Instinct, and found that I could no longer care about her relationship with Mulder -- would almost rather have had her decide she was in love with Doggett, who did a better job standing by her for two years, though he had grown on me to such an extent at that point that I decided I'd rather him end up with Reyes because I thought they'd be better for each other. If they ever make an XF movie I expect to see Cancer Man in it because death on XF is even more ludicrous than death on Star Trek -- who cares if anyone dies when you know they'll turn up, cloned or twinned or just miraculously saved, every time ratings and money are at stake?

I only truly hate shows that I once truly loved. Don't care if the latest Next Gen movie sucked because despite years of dutiful watching, I have never been in love with the TNG franchise. DS9, on the other hand, I adored passionately the first two seasons, hated almost as passionately for the next two, and fell slowly back in love with as it arced into the finale to such an extent that the mere mention of that show can now bring a smile to my face. Voyager, and Kathryn Janeway in particular, I once loved so much that now I can no longer watch reruns or read fan fiction or do anything that reminds me overmuch of the show I once thought it was, rather than what it turned into.

I am going to miss Dawson next year, and am a bit ashamed of that, but not enough not to say it right here in front of everybody. I know why lots of people can't stand it; I know why its ratings have been on a steady slip. Doesn't change the fact that when the opening credits roll and I see the sun setting over Capeside (IOW the Outer Banks), I hear Beth Nielsen Chapman and Mary Beth and Colin Hay start playing in my head and feel powerful nostalgia for Joey rowing her canoe up the creek. I have always loved the female characters on that show -- not in spite of their powerful need to be in relationships, but because of it. These aren't girls who've been taught like Janeway (or maybe I mean like Kate Mulgrew) that a woman can only prove her worth by proving that she can be totally alone and isolated. They've been taught that they can be whatever the hell they want to be...and they can also have affairs and make mistakes and not be afraid to feel. I just love Joey and Jen.

Here is a very depressing editorial on Israel from the New York Times describing in a nutshell how Arafat and Sharon feed off each other's intransigence and depend on one another's prejudices to maintain their own power bases...and how much it looks like there's no solution in sight in the next several generations. It makes me think of Northern Ireland redux, only with a lot more civilian deaths.

Now here's a surprising one:

You're Xander. What this says about you: You tend to believe that you're only here to make everyone else look good by tearing yourself apart. You're constantly part of the background, which is where you like to be. Everyone can depend on you, but you're not always sure they can. You have a hard time telling your feelings to others and tend to act on your emotions in violent outbursts or blaming someone else for your mistakes. Take responsibility by the horns sometime, you'll be surprised at how easily you can handle it.
Which BtVS Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Gacked from :

01. What time do you wake up in the morning? As close to 8 a.m. as possible (on the late side whenever I can)
02. If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? Anjelica Huston
03. Gold or silver? Silver
04. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Chicago
05. Favorite tv show(s)? I'm assuming this means currently...Smallville, The Dead Zone
06. What do you have for breakfast? Cracklin' Oat Bran
07. Who would you hate to be left in a room with? A relative who shall remain nameless
08. Can you touch your nose with your tongue? No
09. What inspires you? Spiritual experiences, passion, wit, intelligence, affection
10. What is your middle name? Erica
11. Beach, city, or country? Beach
12. Summer or winter? Summer
13. Favorite ice cream? Mint chip
14. Buttered, plain, or salted popcorn? Smartfood or cheesy equivalent
15. Favorite color? Green
16. Favorite car? Anything fuel efficient that I can fit everything into
17. Favorite sandwich filling? Turkey sausage
18. True love? Hell yes
19. What characteristics do you despise? Obnoxiousness, insensitivity, arrogance
20. Favorite flower? Roses
21. If you had a big win in the lottery, how long would you wait to tell people? I wouldn't tell many people
22. Fizzy or still water as a drink? Still and not too cold
23. What color is your bathroom? Yellow and white
24. How many keys on your key ring? Mine, my parents' house, my van, sometimes my husband's car
25. Where would you retire to if it could be anywhere? Beachfront someplace not too hot, not too cold, not too far from major metropolitan center but uncrowded
26. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
27. Red or white wine? Merlot
28. What did you do for your last birthday? Went to NYC on the weekend to see the Victorian Nude exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum
29. Do you carry a donor card? It's right on my driver's license

If anyone wants it, my Jeff Combs interview at TrekWeb. And I got this from Arriana's Tarot's Viggo day! Devil Card: Today is a day of trouble! The Devil brings complications, restrictions and obsessive actions. Be wary of new people with offers that sound too good to be true, as it is! This card warns of being tied down by duty and responsibilities, do hesitate on taking new duties today as these will bring troubles to you, taking away your free time for very little reward. The Devil is not a good influence on life, others who can come into your life under this guise will bring conflicts. Be wary today of committing to anything!

Poem for Wednesday

Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


The Latin means that it is sweet and proper to die for one's country.

* * * *

The bad news: Bush. The worse news: Sharon. Though maybe the bad news in Israel will have minor positive repercussions, because Bush has to know that if he bombs Iraq and Iraq bombs Israel, then Sharon will probably nuke the oil fields in retaliation. And there's no point in the U.S. going to war with Iraq if Sharon is going to make the oil fields unusable until the radiation has reached safe levels, because that won't be during the current administration. Even Bush must be able to do that math.

Have mixed feelings about spouting off about Israeli politics. On the one hand, I'm not an Israeli citizen and have never been to Israel and get irrationally irked when I listen to Israelis spout off about American politics and the obligations of American Jews to Israel. On the other hand, am sick to holy hell of conspiracy theories and flagrant misstatements by ignorant people about 1948, 1969, 1972 and various other pivotal moments in Israeli history, by uneducated (often anti-Semitic) Americans. Can't decide who piss me off more -- the rabid right-wing Christian pro-Israel alliance who believe that a strong Jewish state is necessary so that their Messiah can return as predicted and eradicate Judaism via conversion, or the rabid leftist secular anti-Israel alliance who believe that Israel is an imperialist U.S. puppet created expressly to steal natural resources and oppress oppositional thought. There are thoughtless idiots all over the political spectrum.

Have to go to the dentist so had better not get on a serious rant. Will be back in a few hours with hopefully clean teeth. Am still insanely in love with -- just wanted to mention that. Anyone who wants to know why I didn't write to them last night, let's just say it was all her fault.

The good news, gacked from :

I will be struck down by a meteor!

How will you die? Take the Exotic Cause of Death Test

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

If You're Happy And You Know It Bomb Iraq

If You're Happy And You Know It Bomb Iraq
By John Robbins

If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are frisky,
Pakistan is looking shifty,
North Korea is too risky,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think that someone's dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let's look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

It's pre-emptive non-aggression, bomb Iraq.
To prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq.
They've got weapons we can't see,
And that's all the proof we need,
If they're not there, they must be there,
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think Saddam's gone mad,
With the weapons that he had,
And he tried to kill your dad,
Bomb Iraq.

If corporate fraud is growin', bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin', bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain't easy,
And your manhood's getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might knows not our borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We'll call it treason,
Let's make war not love this season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.


Quick addendum: I paid more attention to Smallville than I did to the State of the Union (even Ken Biller can't disgust me as much as Bush's domestic agenda). Without giving anything away, let me just say: you know the thing we all got to see everyone do in the various flashback-speculation? I really, really wanted to get to see Martha do it, too. It was refreshing to watch Jonathan, Lex, the sheriff, etc. get their turns, even if most of them weren't real, but seeing Martha do it would have been fantastic. And she has as much motive as Jonathan.

Poem for Tuesday

The Invitation
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals or
have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and let the ectasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be
careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful
and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life from God's presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes"!

It doesn't interest me to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done
for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


Thanks Kris for the correct title to the above.

Hourglass In The Sand
How much time does Saddam Hussein have? A compilation of Bush administration views:

"Time is running out."
Secretary of State Colin Powell, Jan. 27

"Time is running out."
Dan Bartlett, White House communications director, Jan. 26

"Time is running out."
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Jan. 26

"Time is running out."
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, Jan. 24

"Time is running out."
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Jan. 23

"Time is running out."
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Jan. 23

"Time is running out."
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, Jan. 23

"Time is running out."
President Bush, Jan. 21

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

points out that you can now buy Sean Bean's underwear and support cancer research at the same time. The autograph is a little smudgy so maybe they've been worn! Various people have sent me links to a pirated Asian copy of The Two Towers with hilarious captions!

The New York Times has an interesting, sad article about architectural plans for Ground Zero.

I have no idea how this happened:

Which New Romantic Icon Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

My kids had no school yesterday so I had what is known as a "low-key" day (which around here means going out for bagels with my mother, doing some necessary shopping chores like tracking down shampoo -- I'm allergic to so many that this always requires a trip to The Cosmetic Center or someplace like that -- doing laundry, trying frantically to get some work done, etc. I was in a terrible mood but , and saved me (I have no doubt that would have done so as well if she had instant message capabilities -- we need to get her AIM ASAP). Today my kids are off again so we are all going out to lunch again, then getting together with friends. I wish it were warm enough to go to the park for some significant period of time.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Lyrics for Monday

...because I am in a drippy, nostalgic mood. For a change. This too is Voyager-related verse to me, though I could easily apply it to...well, I am not getting that drippy in a public journal!

By Mary Chapin Carpenter

I can tell by the way you're walking
That you don't want company
I'll let you alone and I'll let you walk on
And in your own good time you'll be
Back where the sun can find you
Under the wise wishing tree
And with all of them made we'll lie under the shade
And call it a jubilee

And I can tell by the way you're talking
That the past isn't letting you go
But there's only so long you can take it along
Then the wrong's got to be on its own
And when you're ready to leave it behind you
You'll look back and all that you'll see
Is the wreckage and rust that you left in the dust
On your way to the jubilee

And I can tell by the way you're listening
That you're still expecting to hear
Your name being called like a summons to all
Who have failed to account for their doubts and their fears
They can't add up to much without you
And so if it were just up to me
I'd take hold of your hand, saying come hear the band
Play your song at the jubilee

And I can tell by the way you're searching
For something you can't even name
That you haven't been able to come to the table
Simply glad that you came
And when you feel like this try to imagine
That we're all like frail boats on the sea
Just scanning the night for that great guiding light
Announcing the jubilee

And I can tell by the way you're standing
With your eyes filling with tears
That it's habit alone keeps you turning for home
Even though your home is right here
Where the people who love you are gathered
Under the wise wishing tree
May we all be considered then straight on delivered
Down to the jubilee
Because the people who love you are waiting
And they'll wait just as long as need be
When we look back and say those were halcyon days
We're talking about jubilee

* * * *

Yay! The Bucs won! Not that I cared overmuch -- I don't hate these Raiders the way I hated the Raiders of yore, just as I can't work up any real animosity toward current-era Cowboys or Giants. We went to my very oldest friend's husband's annual Superbowl party, which he's been throwing since long before they met and married, so it's a combination of people he's known his entire life and more recent friends and neighbors and their kids. At any given moment there were only about 10 people watching the game, though there were probably more than 50 people in the house at the end of the first quarter. Almost everybody had left by halftime, though since my kids don't have school today -- some county teachers' meeting -- we stayed until sometime in the third quarter and apparently missed a good interception return on the drive home.

I've known Linda since first grade -- we met when we were the age my younger son is now. We barely had a chance to speak yesterday (in addition to having three kids and a party to host, she had just gotten back from Cancun after a very delayed flight) but I did get to talk to her father, whom I've known just as long. He was appalled by Shania Twain's outfit during the halftime show. I was amused that he was appalled, since I remember having similar conversations with him about Madonna when Linda and I were in high school. I also saw another friend from high school who also now has two children -- this is our annual get-together besides running into each other at the park and at the store.

The TrekWeb editor decided to demand that I produce my Jeff Combs interview by today, so I let my husband take our older son to a birthday party earlier yesterday and stayed home to edit and format. As is typical, I had a story idea literally buzzing around in my head the entire time I was working on that, and then I had a number of e-mails to answer and stories to feedback and calls to make before we left for the Superbowl party. I finally said the heck with it and wrote it down during the last few minutes of the game when I couldn't stand it anymore. Again I ask, how come I always get writer's block when I have time to write, but when I'm supposed to be doing two dozen other things, I'm compelled to write?

From the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU report on how Big Brother Is Watching...

Gacked from , a must-read post on news headlines -- make sure you read the end...

From the Enneagram Institute, I am:

src="" border=0
alt="Enneagram" title="Take the Enneagram Institute's Free Enneagram
free enneagram test

Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their Best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.

Most of which is pretty damn true. Wow.

Icon in honor of , who will know why as soon as she sees it. I love you, fellow sap!

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Poem for Sunday

This is one of my very favorites. I feel like I may have posted it before, but no great loss if I did. Reading it now suddenly sends me back to Voyager fandom, warp speed through the Delta Quadrant, where Janeway and Chakotay seemed inevitably to be hurtling before "Resolutions"...

The Possible Salvation of Continuous Motion
by Pattiann Rogers

If we could be taken alone together in a driverless
Sleigh pulled by horses with blinders over the endless
Uninhabited acres of snow; if the particles
Of our transgression could be left behind us
Scattered across the woodlands and frozen lakes
Like pieces of light scattered over the flashing snow;

If the initiation and accomplishment of our act
In that sleigh could be separated by miles
Of forest--the careful parting begun
Under the ice-covered cedars, the widening and the entering
Accomplished in swirls of frost racing along the hills,
The removal and revelation coming beside the seesaw shifting
Of grassheads rustling in the snowy ditches; all the elements
Of our interaction left in a thousand different places--
Thigh against thigh with the drowsy owlets in the trees
Overhead, your face caught for an instant above mine
In one eye of the snow hare;

If the horses could go fast enough across the ice
So that no one would ever be able to say, "Sin
Was committed here," our sin being as diffuse
As broken bells sounding in molecules of ringing
Clear across the countryside;

And under the blanket beside you in the sleigh
If I could watch the night above the flying heads
Of the horses, if I could see our love exploded
Like stars cast in a black sky over the glassy plains
So that nothing, not even the mind of an angel,
Could ever reassemble that deed;

Well, I would go with you right now,
Dearest, immediately, while the horses
Are still biting and strapping in their reins.

* * * *

Happy Birthday !

The very clever has created The Porn Connexion, a way for slashers all over the world to find others in their area. Looks like the greater DC area is a very fertile playground -- there is even a Yahoogroup for us!

From one of my lists, more Viggo and Karl in Japan!

Today my excuse for everything I'm not going to get done is that I have to transcribe an interview for TrekWeb, take my older son to a birthday party, then go with my whole family to my oldest friend's annual Superbowl party (around 50 people, half kids, tons of food and lots of catching-up). So it will be a late night. Hope I remember to tape The Dead Zone.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Poem for Saturday

Love Is Not All
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It may well be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.


I love the New York Times. Here, for instance, is an article (not an editorial) on why Ashcroft is scarier than Hussein.

And incidentally may I just mention how much I despise it when people post political rants on mailing lists, then add that no one should respond as they don't want to hear it? I am all for people expressing themselves, but the whole point is to communicate -- if you're not going to listen to other people, shut the fuck up.

Speaking of fuck, here's an article on the growing use of bad language on TV. Quite amusing. I remember when it first became acceptable to say "penis" on television as AIDS awareness grew and Saturday Night Live did a skit with lines like, "Hey! Who's the guy with the penis?"

On finer art: here is Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours, on what it was like seeing what was in some ways a very personal novel get transformed into a film.

I didn't cheat and am rather amused, because I am certainly not...


Jolly good, wot! Anyone for tennis? That'll be ten ponies, guv. You're the epitome of everything that is english. Yey :) Hoist that Union Jack!
How British are you?
this quiz was made by alanna

pointed out this mood-lifter!

Here is where I am spending a lovely afternoon with my family, one of my favorite spots in the world -- the ray tank at the National Aquarium in Baltimore of which we are long-time members:

Friday, January 24, 2003

Poem for Friday

From 'For the Courtesan Ch'ing Lin'
By Wu Tsao
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung
With modifications by Michelle Erica Green

You glow like a perfumed lamp
In the gathering shadows.
We play wine games
And recite each other's poems.
Then you sing 'Remembering South of the River'
With its heartbreaking verses. Then
We paint each other's beautiful eyebrows.
I want to possess you completely –
Your jade body
And your promised heart.
It is Spring.
Vast mists cover the Five Lakes.
My love, let me buy a red painted boat
And carry you away.

I meant to do work and answer mail and get all sorts of productive things done this morning before my kids' dentist appointments, Hebrew school and the usual evening craziness, but I ended up having brunch with an old friend with whom I haven't had a social visit since September 11, 2001. We have run into each other many times since then at synagogue and the food store and various other places, and commented that we really should get together, but we seem to have had some kind of distancing instinct -- a combination of superstition and not wanting to revisit all the feelings of that day. We both know that even though we were not best of friends and are unlikely ever to become so, we have an odd bond that is going to last for our entire lives. When we are 85 and our grandchildren ask us where we were on 9/11, we are immediately going to think of each other.

It's a very strange sort of bond to have with someone. We had met that morning at a coffee shop which apparently had no TV or radio, plus a very isolated clientele. We had both heard the reports before going in a little before 9 a.m. that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, but the newscasters were still talking like it was pilot error. We spent two hours in a bubble of blissful ignorance, though ironically we argued about Israeli politics and then discussed our wills and potential custody of our children. It was probably the most heated discussion we ever had. Maybe on some level we guessed from the radio reports that the world was about to change. Ironically, her husband had worked for a company that had offices in the WTC which had laid him off only weeks before; it's conceivable that he could have been there that day had he not lost his job. Blessings come in strange forms sometimes.

Both of our husbands knew where we were that morning, but neither of our cell phones were working because the whole cellular network went down after the antenna collapsed and everyone started calling everyone else because it had become obvious that what was going on was an attack. My friend and I both left the coffee shop smiling, then got in our cars and discovered that the Pentagon had been hit, the schools had closed, our families had gotten our children home, and nothing was ever going to be the way it had been when we dropped our kids off at school that morning. Ironically, we met up today with another friend of hers -- the person with whom she'd been having brunch when the first sniper attacks occurred this fall. And they hadn't eaten together since, either. I think we were all a little nervous when we realized this, but maybe we've had our fill of karmic badness because, knock wood, it was a relatively peaceful lunch and afternoon.

, I did not forget about you! I had gotten your message in the morning and then this all came about suddenly -- I know I owe you a lunch date and Bad Movies! Next week you can name your day, other than Tuesday! And , we need to do it too. In fact we should all get together and talk hot slashy men of genre.

My cable is down. It is taking me forever to do anything online and I can't access two of my accounts at all. Arrgh. Guess I won't be finishing tonight any of the stuff I didn't get to earlier.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Poem for Thursday

Lady Freedom Among Us
By Rita Dove

don't lower your eyes
or stare straight ahead to where
you think you ought to be going
don't mutter oh no
not another one
get a job fly a kite
go bury a bone
with her oldfashioned sandals
with her leaden skirts
with her stained cheeks and whiskers and
heaped up trinkets
she has risen among us in blunt reproach
she has fitted her hair under a hand-me-down cap
and spruced it up with feathers and stars
slung over her shoulder she bears
the rainbowed layers of charity and murmurs
all of you even the least of you
don't cross to the other side of the square
don't think another item to fit on a
tourist's agenda
consider her drenched gaze her shining brow
she who has brought mercy back into the streets
and will not retire politely to the potter's field
having assumed the thick skin of this town
its gritted exhaust its sunscorch and blear
she rests in her weathered plumage
bigboned resolute
don't think you can ever forget her
don't even try
she's not going to budge
no choice but to grant her space
crown her with sky
for she is one of the many
and she is each of us


Viggo at a book signing in Japan, photos on the House of Telcontar message boards (scroll way down). He brought Karl. They were both wearing handmade anti-war shirts. Be still my heart.

Somehow I never knew about this site with hundreds of extended edition LOTR screen caps, including the commentary discs, until last night. Am completely in heaven to have found it belatedly.

The New York Times on what's wrong with Sundance this year.

And written by my beloved :

border="0" alt="">
Which Obi-Wan Are You?

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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Poetry for Wednesday

Reading Hamlet
by Anna Akhmatova (translation by Stanley Kunitz)

A barren patch to the right of the cemetery, behind it a river flashing blue.

You said: "All right then, get thee to a nunnery, or go get married to a fool..."

It was the sort of thing princes always say, but these are the words that one remembers. May they flow a hundred centuries in a row like an ermine mantle from his shoulders.


From the Poems of Yuri Zhivago (translation by Bernard Guerney)

The stir is over. I step forth on the boards.
Leaning against an upright at the entrance,
I strain to make the far-off echo yield
A cue to the events that may come in my day.

Night and its murk transfix and pin me,
Staring through thousands of binoculars.
If Thou be willing, Abba, Father,
Remove this cup from me.

I cherish this, Thy rigorous conception,
And I consent to play this part therein;
But another play is running at this moment,
So, for the present, release me from the cast.

And yet, the order of the acts has been schemed and plotted,
And nothing can avert the final curtain's fall.
I stand alone. All else is swamped by Pharisaism.
To live life to the end is not a childish task.


Am thoroughly entranced with 's commentary on last night's Smallville episode, which is here.

Re: my friend who is ill: thanks so much everyone who sent good wishes. She was supposed to have surgery last week but her condition is so complicated that they couldn't operate. They're going to try drugs and steroids for now.

Stolen wholesale from my beloved : The Fellowship of the Gay. From the Toronto Star almost a year ago, but I missed it at the time. I'm even going to steal Twink's favorite quote:

"The adoring Sam trots along behind Frodo with canine devotion, and hostility between the fellowship's two hunky homo sapiens, [Viggo] Mortensen and Sean Bean, is revealed in the field of battle (against those hell-spawn) for the displaced manly affection it is.

Apart from the final moments of the movie itself, in which Frodo looks at Sam with such limpid affection you think the two of them are going to capsize the boat they're in, The Fellowship Of The Ring's most emotionally convincing moment comes when one of these guy's guys -- stuck full of arrows like Caravaggio's Sebastian -- expires in the arms of the other. Certainly it's a lot more convincing than the moment back up the road with that elf chick."

Oh yes. This just makes my evening. And my friends wonder why I slash.

First saw this on 's LJ:

border="0" alt="dali">
What Famous Painter ARE

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And am posting this in gratitude for the free CoffeeCup Password Keeper:

I know I owe lots of letters and feedback and stuff, but since the Devil's minion utterly distracted me yesterday I am running late on everything again. And I HAVE to get work done today. Bear with me! Tonight I must watch Dawson's Creek. Because yes, I am that shallow, and I love their soundtrack. Am still in love with , , and lots of you, by the way.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

I was inspired to post some Anthony Hecht by this New York Times article.

Saul and David
By Anthony Hecht

It was a villainous spirit, snub-nosed, foul
Of breath, thick-taloned and malevolent,
That squatted within him wheresoever he went
      And possessed the soul of Saul.

There was no peace on pillow or on throne.
In dreams the toothless, dwarfed, and squinny-eyed
Started a joyful rumor that he had died
      Unfriended and alone.

The doctors were confounded. In his distress, he
Put aside arrogant ways and condescended
To seek among the flocks where they were tended
      By the youngest son of Jesse,

A shepherd boy, but goodly to look upon,
Unnoticed but God-favored, sturdy of limb
As Michelangelo later imagined him,
      Comely even in his frown.

Shall a mere shepherd provide the cure of kings?
Heaven itself delights in ironies such
As this, in which a boy's fingers would touch
      Pythagorean strings

And by a modal artistry assemble
The very Sons of Morning, the ranked and choired
Heavens in sweet laudation of the Lord,
      And make Saul cease to tremble.

Now, how could I not do this:

Tarot Cards

Five of Wands

Love, exciting and new. Let it flow, it floats back to you. The Love Boat soon will be making another run!
Divinatory Meanings: Cornball romance, sappy affection, good friends, bad Seventies music, sheer joy. Signifies the possibility of living happily ever after even when life feels like a bad sitcom plot.
Reversed: Cynicism, seasickness, carbohydrate overload, lack of faith in OTPs.
Elements: Fire and Water

Make your own LiveJournal Tarot Card!

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Just found out that a very, very good friend of mine may be very ill. I'm very upset.

Monday, January 20, 2003

For MLK Day

...because it bears rereading.

I Have A Dream
by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic
shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope
to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames
of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak
to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact
that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later,
the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation
and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later,
the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of
a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later,
the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society
and finds himself an exile in his own land.
So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check.
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words
of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence,
they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed
the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note
insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation,
America has given the Negro people a bad check
which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults
of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check --
a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom
and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot
to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.
This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off
or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation
to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to
open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice
to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment
and to underestimate the determination of the Negro.
This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass
until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.
Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam
and will now be content will have a rude awakening
if the nation returns to business as usual.
There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America
until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.
The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake
the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand
on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice.
In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom
by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.
We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.
Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights
of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community
must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers,
as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that
their destiny is tied up with our destiny and
their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead.
We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights,
"When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies,
heavy with the fatigue of travel,
cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility
is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied
as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and
a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied
until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.
Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells.
Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom
left you battered by the storms of persecution
and staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering.
Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia,
go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities,
knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends,
that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment,
I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation
will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves
and the sons of former slaveowners
will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state,
sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression,
will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin
but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama,
whose governor's lips are presently dripping
with the words of interposition and nullification,
will be transformed into a situation
where little black boys and black girls
will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls
and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted,
every hill and mountain shall be made low,
the rough places will be made plain,
and the crooked places will be made straight,
and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South.
With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation
into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able
to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together,
to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning,
"My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride,
from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet,
from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day
when all of God's children, black men and white men,
Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics,
will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,
"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

-- August 28, 1963

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Poem for Sunday and a few headlines

When Our Two Souls (Sonnets from the Portuguese 22)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curvéd point, -- what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us, and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Belovèd, -- where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

Also the Washington Post Book World's poetry column today had some amusing parodies.

Here's Thomas Friedman on the Israeli elections -- "The leader Israelis crave is someone who can both build a border with the Palestinians and take down the borders among the Jews. Unfortunately, the Messiah is not on the ballot."

Here's Maureen Dowd on Robert Redford's plans to make a sequel to The Candidate (yay!) -- "'What do we do now?' Whatever it takes."

And the satanically wonderful pointed me to these wonderful Prophecy screen caps! There cannot be enough Prophecy slash in the world. We need more. Am thinking about making a page for it, if I can get Joanne, Deanna, Lanna, Cinzia, Gloria, etc. to let me post theirs. Anyone else have any I should know about?

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Saturday Night Blather

Here is my review of Michael Chabon's Summerland for GMR. I'm proud of this one. Well, I was proud of my Indian Runner review too. It is much easier to review things that are really good, and that I really love, than things that are mediocre...

Speaking of which, I learned this week that I will be losing my Andromeda reviewing gig at SlipstreamWeb because the site is shutting down. I have very mixed feelings about this from a number of standpoints. There's my professional reaction in the current terrible freelance market that I am sorry to lose a job, any job. Then there's my fannish reaction that I am sorry to lose what was always the liveliest Andromeda site around. But I rarely even glanced at the Slipstream BBS because there were so many vicious, nasty fans there, and I continue to be frustrated by the show, which has never lived up to its potential and has suffered from wildly uneven writing since the beginning. On the other hand, it has two of my favorite female characters in sci-fi, five actors whose work I greatly enjoy (including the much-maligned Kevin Sorbo), and enough humor and pathos to keep me tuning in even when the scripts are lousy. On a gut level I still enjoy it more than Enterprise and much more than the last several seasons of Voyager.

What's your Inner European?

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Now this really surprised me -- I thought I'd be Parisian! I have fallen in love with a number of Irish people in my life, but I don't particularly identify with the Irish beyond the commonalities between the Irish and Jewish immigrant experiences on this side of the Atlantic. And other than Joyce being my favorite of the listed authors, I didn't think I answered anything with a particularly Gaelic slant!

Back for a moment to Summerland -- I think we need to create a REAL Fantasy Baseball League. Nine Princes in Amber vs. the U.S.S. Voyager senior officers. The Fellowship of the Ring vs. the 1947 Roswell Grays. The Field of Dreams Dead All-Stars vs. the Devil's Damn Yankees. That sort of thing.

Poem for Saturday

by Jane Shore

Each day, each morning, before the sun can touch
one edge of anything, within the oak's shadow
an unfamiliar bird begins to sing.

Against the sky,
the leaves the dark has polished are now
shingled like the grisaille wings of the bird,
and the whole garden's gone over with the same
meticulous hand, the grasses held down
with long, even stitches, as morning settles
on the rosebush, anchored by each thorn.
On the near hill there are flowers like small fires.
Inside the house a man and a woman are sleeping.
Daylight's an infusion of pain so slight
each barely feels it ribboning down the spine
until the bird begins to call them
back into the landscape their closed eyes
labor to admit.

For an instant, the man sees himself
twist up to light as he reaches for the woman
preparing to open herself to him
as later, earth will take his body wholly in.


From today's Washington Post...

My son's best friend is from New Zealand; his father works for their military and is in the U.S. for another several months, the end of a three-year assignment. The kids were playing together and I spent the afternoon talking to the mother about how the U.S. is perceived abroad and bilingual education and colonialism and why 30 percent of American boys are diagnosed with ADHD and related disorders. Interestingly, both my sons' best friends for the past two years were not born in this country, and my best local new friends were not born in this country. I wonder how that affects my perspective on things. I think they think I do an awful lot of complaining about my government in front of them, which is probably true -- I offended one of them by dissing the royal family, which I tend to think of more like Hollywood than as a government institution. But they don't do much dissing of their parliaments, whereas I am only too happy to put forth my opinion of many of the idiots in Congress.

Tonight I watched Bravo Two Zero. Sean Bean was quite amazing in it and it felt creepily timely, listening to the opening and the allegations about Iraq and a Bush in the White House. Wondering if I will wimp out on marching if it's as cold tomorrow as it is today -- I get sinus headaches when my head gets really cold. We had originally planned to go to New York to visit my sister this weekend, so I hadn't planned to go. Not sure what I will do now.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Poem for Snowy Friday

by William Carlos Williams

Snow falls:
years of anger following
hours that float idly down --
the blizzard
drifts its weight
deeper and deeper for three days
or sixty years, eh? Then
the sun! a clutter of
yellow and blue flakes --
Hairy looking trees stand out
in long alleys
over a wild solitude.
The man turns and there --
his solitary track stretched out
upon the world.


and are trying to kill me. I told Cinzia to watch Smallville, and this is the result. Then I begged Gloria to show me what she was writing that convinced Cinzia to finish and post her story, and this is the result. May actually write something else when I can get up off the floor.

has bigger photos from Viggo's book signing yesterday at Bag End Inn. Oh, and from Stacie again, more Viggo book signing pictures -- you can see the back of his shirt!

Winter Wonderland

We have reached the point in my county where if the kids miss another full day of school due to snow, they'll start adding days to the end of the school year in June. So despite the current snowfall and arctic temperatures, they are refusing even to call a delay for the morning at this point, meaning we have to wake up usual time on the outside chance that they DON'T delay for an hour, probably only to learn that we could have slept in.

It's very pretty and very, very cold. And I am very tired and not very articulate, having spent all my energy finishing my long-overdue Summerland review (appropriate for season?), so I will stick with posting a couple of links and go collapse...

Pointed out by , What if Lord of the Rings had been written by other authors? Hilarious...

Stacie points out these pics of Viggo at the book signing in L.A. earlier today...anyone here go? Would love to see your pics. Made new icon...I love it when my celebrities mirror my political views...

A good but depressing review of Divine Intervention, a film about Palestinian life under Israeli occupation...

And finally, no surprise at all:

border="0" alt="Eowyn">
So which LOTR woman are you? Hmm??
made by href="">Michelle at href="">EmptySpace.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Lyrics for Thursday

...which should give you some idea of my mood.

I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow
by Ray Stevens

My cheetah bit the vet,
My daughter’s on the pill,
And my ficus plant has lost its will to live.
I owe Mastercard my life,
I’ve got adolescent skin,
My doctor says I can’t use any salt,
My ashtray’s overflowing
And I don’t even smoke,
And my house lies on the San Andreas Fault.

I need your help Barry Manilow --
I’m miserable and don’t know what to do.
Sing me a song, sing it sad and low,
No one helps me suffer quite like you.

Hello? Mandy? Where are you? The Copacabana?
Listen, I know I don’t write the songs
that make the whole world sing,
But I do know one thing Mandy:
I just can’t smile without you.
Forget about Lola!
You remember that weekend in New England?
We thought then that this could be the magic at last
And now here we are trying to get the feeling again!

I need your help Barry Manilow --
I’m all alone and sitting on a shelf
Sing me a song, sing it sad and low,
I feel like feeling sorry for myself.

I need your help Barry Manilow --
Your songs can really comfort the unlucky,
Sing me a song, sing it sad and low,
I wish I didn’t have to feel so yucky
I wish I didn’t have to feel so yucky.

Popbitch asks: "Which Star Trek officer likes to pay high-class prostitutes to pleasure themselves with a large dildo while he reclines in an armchair listening to classical music?" If anyone knows the answer, I'd love to hear it. For that matter if anyone would just like to speculate...ahem.

Somehow I had never seen this LOTR parody site until someone posted it to one of my lists this morning. I have now wasted over an hour laughing hysterically.

And the pants are back! Thanks !

And this site, also pointed out from someone on a mailing list, is worth checking out because of this and others like it:

Ohhh yeah. Hope that makes your headache better !

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Novel Survey gacked from <lj user

First Real Book I Ever Read: I'm going with Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time, given the impact it had on me and continues to have, despite the fact that it is classified as a children's book.

Best Loved Children’s Book: See above. Also Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series. I adored most of The Chronicles of Narnia but the end of the last one nearly destroyed the lot for me.

Best Loved Children’s Author: L'Engle.

The First Book To Change Your Life: Ready for it? One Saturday when my family was driving to an amusement park, I read Ayn Rand's Anthem on the way there and Richard Bach's Illusions on the way back. The first significantly altered the way I thought about education. The second transformed the way I thought about spirituality. To this day I can't think of a day I've spent reading that had so much of an impact.

Most Overrated Book: Milan Kundera's Immortality. Ugh.

Most Underrated Book: Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, which too often gets dismissed because it's fantasy and spawned inferior sequels. It's another book that changed my life.

Another Underrated Book: Marina Warner's The Leto Bundle. Ever heard of it? Thought not. Go read it.

Best Loved Novels: Not counting those named above, these are some other favorites:
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man
Octavia Butler, Dawn
A.S. Byatt, Possession
Michael Chabon, Summerland
Don DeLillo, Libra
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Jostein Gaarder, The Solitaire Mystery
Janette Turner Hospital, The Last Magician
Marie Jakober, The Black Chalice
Clysta Kinstler, The Moon Under Her Feet
Nancy Kress, Beggars In Spain
Jeanne Larsen, Silk Road
Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams
Michael Malone, Handling Sin
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Jane Mendelssohn, I Was Amelia Earhart
Lawrence Norfolk, Lempriere's Dictionary
Sharon Kay Penman, The Sunne In Splendour
Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time
Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat
Theodore Roszak, Flicker
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
Bernhard Schlink, The Reader
Amy Tan, The Kitchen God's Wife
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes In Amber
Richard Zimler, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Best Loved Short Story collection: Janette Turner Hospital's Isobars

Best Loved Horror Authors: Unless Zimler counts, I don't read horror

Best Loved Science Fiction Authors: LeGuin, Kress, Butler

Best Loved Fantasy Authors: MZBradley, Zelazny, Diana Paxson...oh, and Tolkien I suppose!

Best Loved comic writer: The guys who do Promethea

Best Loved History Book: Carrolly Erickson's biography of Elizabeth I

Most Right Wing Book I Have Ever Read: The Closing of the American Mind

Most Left Wing Book I Have Ever Read: The Communist Manifesto

Books I am Reading Right Now: Rodger Kamenetz's Stalking Elijah, James Hetley's The Summer Country

Politics as usual (unfortunately)

So Bush ran Trent Lott out of town to prove that Republicans aren't racists, then decided to butt into the University of Michigan's admissions policy. What a guy.

And they're going to try John Lee Malvo as an adult. Can someone please explain to me how it can possibly be constitutional for a minor deemed legally too young to make decisions about drinking and voting (and, if he were a woman in some states, having an abortion without parental consent) to face the death penalty? Look, I LIVED with the sniper. I know what he did. That doesn't change the fact that he is a TEENAGER.

Rally For Choice!

I'm back from lunch with whom I met at the mall, since it's cold outside and I had to mail packages to certain people. She is a delightfully bad influence when discussing such matters as politics and slash. We had Chinese food. Here is my fortune: "The sun will always shine through your heart, onto your smile, and warm your soul." Sounds convoluted but nice.

And true, because after we raided Borders, Suncoast and the Hallmark store, managing to restrain ourselves from buying anything major, we wandered into KB Toys. And there we beheld a shipment of 12" FOTR action figures. Including two Aragorns. For $12.99 apiece. Every woman should have a 12" Aragorn, should she not, and now we both do! (, I looked for a Boromir-Lurtz pack for you but alas they did not have any...)

And oh! I forgot to mention! Last night in the course of looking up something or other, I discovered that on Bruce Springsteen's Complete Video Anthology, 1978-2000, Bruce made a video for "Highway Patrolman" using clips from The Indian Runner! Have already dispatched my husband and our holiday Best Buy card to get it. Husband did have a suspicious expression when I announced that I wanted Springsteen DVDs but has learned not to argue on the relatively rare occasion when I want music he likes, given that the vast percentage of CDs and music-related DVDs in this household are technically his.

Harry Potter June 21, huh? Well, it means the kids will be out of my hair the first few days of summer vacation!

Poem for Wednesday

Sonnet LXXXV
by William Shakespeare

My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still
Whilst comments of your praise, richly compil’d,
Deserve their character with golden quill,
And precious phrase by all the Muses fil’d.
I think good thoughts, whilst others write good words,
And, like unletter’d clerk, still cry ‘Amen’
To every hymn that able spirit affords,
In polish’d form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you prais’d, I say ‘’Tis so, ’tis true,’
And to the most of praise add something more;
But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
Then others for the breath of words respect,
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.

Am reading people's violent responses to last night's Smallville with some amusement. Now, I did react violently to Single White Female and in general the psychotic-lesbian genre offends and disgusts me. But I am also a sucker for television producers doing what they think the fans want, even if they're all dorky about it.

So despite how screwed up it is, I get perverse pleasure from Chloe-as-Tina coming on to Lana, just as I would have gotten very great enjoyment had Star Trek Voyager ever once let Janeway and Chakotay make out under the auspices of possession by evil aliens or anything else. No denying that "Visage" was badly written and quite repugnant in the end (and I wish Lex's SFB would fall off a bridge). I still managed to enjoy a few moments.

Rumor is that neither Rowling nor Scholastic is coming after Harry Potter fan fiction sites per se, just NC-17 material that the lawyer-types had brought to their attention. And you know, I don't have a huge problem with them wanting that stuff better hidden so kids don't find it, if that's truly all they're after. I've been saying for a year that I think RPS needs to be better disclaimed and protected somehow from popping up on Google searches when some unsuspecting person types in the names of two actors. What we need is a way to make the index sites widely available but the fics themselves available only to people who have certified that they're old enough to make informed decisions about it, archived in places where those who want it can find it but those who shouldn't see it won't stumble across it. Is that possible?

An interesting Village Voice article on Pee Wee Herman and child pornography...

pointed out this very funny parody movie page...

And really, actually, I think I'm a big yellow domestic shorthair like my cat Rosie, but this will do...

Take the Purrsonality Quiz!

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Because baseball contains the meaning of life...

While reviewing Michael Chabon's Summerland, quite possibly my favorite novel ever -- imagine A Wrinkle In Time crossed with Field of Dreams, along with some animals from Narnia and starring Coyote as the Devil -- an important question sprang to mind:

If the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring formed a baseball team, who would play which position?

Frodo's got to be the pitcher.
Which means Sam's got to be the catcher.
Pippin's got to be in thankless right field.
I guess Aragorn, Legolas and Boromir should play first, second and third base (or go to first, second and third base...oops, distracted myself).
That would leave Gandalf free to play shortstop.
Leaving Gimli in center, and Merry in left field.

Though my friend Grey rightly points out that with his speed, Legolas would be wasted on the infield. Maybe he should play center and Gimli should play 2B. And Mia thinks it would be a waste of a perfectly good "shortstop" joke not to have a hobbit play SS.

The Gay Tenor Ringwraith
Who needs to get out more...

P.S. points out AICN's Exclusive Rant from Sauron! Hee!

Poem for Tuesday

A study in translation of one of my favorite short poems by Sappho:

De'duke men ae sela'nna
kai` Plhi'ades, me'sai de`
nu'ktes pa'ra de ee'rxete we'ra,
ee'gw de` mo'na kateu'dw.

The moon has sunk, and the Pleiades,
And midnight is gone,
And the hours are passing, passing,
And I lie alone.

The Pleiades disappear,
the pale moon goes down.
After midnight, time blurs:
sleepless, I lie alone

The moon has set, and the Pleiades;
it is midnight, the time is going by
and I recline alone.

The sinking moon has left the sky,
The Pleiades have also gone.
Midnight comes--and goes, the hours fly
And solitary still, I lie.

The moon has set
and the Pleiades; it is the middle
of the night and the hours go by
and I lie here alone.

The moon has set
and the Pleiades. It is
Midnight. Time passes.
I sleep alone.

The Moon has left the sky,
Lost is the Pleiads' light;
     It is midnight,
     And time slips by,
But on my couch alone I lie.

The first translation is by Margaret Anderson, editor of The Little Review; the last is by J. A. Symonds, 1883. I found the rest unattributed.

Last night an old friend in fandom found me here -- I'm still not sure how, but I am thrilled to see , who once as a birthday present wrote me a story in which my alter ego received proper discipline from Captain Janeway. Must remember to behave around her. Ironically, I stole my latest icon from a long-ago .sig of hers! Thank you love!

So I did watch G.I. Jane, which offered many happy surprises. Somehow I had no idea Anne Bancroft was in the movie, even though I've had the DVD in the house for several days -- how do I manage to miss these things? Had I known, I probably would have seen the movie in the theater. She's one of my oldest crushes, dating back to the first time I saw The Miracle Worker or perhaps The Turning Point. And she's wonderful, bitchy and convincingly Southern despite the fact that I always hear her voice in my head with a New York accent.

Demi is really something. I always think I don't like her on principle, but then I see her and she's generally quite good. Okay, it is hard to get over Indecent Proposal, but if I have managed to forgive Redford then I should forgive her too, right? She does a really nice job being tough without being so tough that I can't identify at all with her character, because I'd last about four minutes in SEAL training even if I knew every woman in the U.S. was depending on me for equal opportunity in the armed forces. And yeah, I got a big kick out of her telling Viggo to suck her dick.

As for Viggo...I swear that had I not known he was in the movie, I would have spent the first hour and a half going, "Who is that guy and where do I know him from?" I don't know if it's the awful mustache, the accent or the coldness of the character, but he was pretty unrecognizable and while I do think he's very good at sinking into roles, I never felt that way before. I couldn't warm up to Master Chief at all -- can't stand that type of officer or mentality and firmly believe a military full of people like that are a big reason the U.S. is so fucked up when it comes to the difference between defense and outrageous aggression -- but I guess that's a tribute to the performance too.

I owe lots of e-mails but am working at my kids' school this morning so will be a little late! Sorry!

Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem for Monday

First Sex
by Sharon Olds

I knew little, and what I knew
I did not believe--they had lied to me
so many times, so I just took it as it
came, his naked body on the sheet,
the tiny hairs curling on his legs like
fine, gold shells, his sex
harder and harder under my palm
and yet not hard as a rock his face cocked
back as if in terror, the sweat
jumping out of his pores like sudden
trails from the tiny snails when his knees
locked with little clicks and under my
hand he gathered and shook and the actual
flood like milk came out of his body, I
saw it glow on his belly, all they had
said and more, I rubbed it into my
hands like lotion, I signed on for the duration.


We were going to go to a train show and wander around a town in a nearby county yesterday, but it was so cold we ended up going to a local nature center and greenhouse and mostly staying indoors. Will probably do the excursion next Saturday since we are not going to my sister's for MLK weekend as planned -- turns out her housekeeper is sleeping in her spare bedroom for the time being as she is between apartments. The kids will be disappointed.

Weighed saving Sharpe's Waterloo until I really, really needed a Sean Bean fix or watching it within three days of having seen Revenge and Justice, decided to watch it last night. Glad I did even though it's much choppier than any of the other installments and there's some recirculated footage that's very annoying. Sharpe and Harper sooo slashy and Alexis Denisof ends up where I wanted him all along...

Ooh! Ooh! pointed out these links of 's: Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum looking very in love or in character -- I can't tell which.

found this in someone's sig file and passed it on to me:
"Bother," said Pooh. "Eeyore, ready to photon torpedoes and lock phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room three. Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."

I need to transcribe three interviews this week. Am not in the mood to transcribe; as always, when I have work I have to do, I am overrun with story ideas. When work dries up I always get writers' block. Why is that?

Since my husband is obsessively burning CDs, I decided I really needed all my favorite Suzanne Vega songs in one place. Had forgotten just how damn much I like her. Will have to burn 10,000 Maniacs while I am on an '80s roll.

Here is GMR's Indian Runner review.

Just the latest scary news: GOP Leaders Tighten Hold In the House, from The Washington Post.

This is very funny because I spend NO time getting ready in the morning and I said so on the hair question!

How can I label you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Poem for Sunday

For ...

From Don Juan
by Lord Byron


The seventh day, and no wind -- the burning sun
Blister'd and scorch'd, and, stagnant on the sea,
They lay like carcasses; and hope was none,
Save in the breeze that came not; savagely
They glared upon each other -- all was done,
Water, and wine, and food, -- and you might see
The longings of the cannibal arise
(Although they spoke not) in their wolfish eyes.


At length one whisper'd his companion, who
Whisper'd another, and thus it went round,
And then into a hoarser murmur grew,
An ominous, and wild, and desperate sound;
And when his comrade's thought each sufferer knew,
'T was but his own, suppress'd till now, he found:
And out they spoke of lots for flesh and blood,
And who should die to be his fellow's food.


But ere they came to this, they that day shared
Some leathern caps, and what remain'd of shoes;
And then they look'd around them and despair'd,
And none to be the sacrifice would choose;
At length the lots were torn up, and prepared,
But of materials that much shock the Muse --
Having no paper, for the want of better,
They took by force from Juan Julia's letter.


The lots were made, and mark'd, and mix'd, and handed,
In silent horror, and their distribution
Lull'd even the savage hunger which demanded,
Like the Promethean vulture, this pollution;
None in particular had sought or plann'd it,
'T was nature gnaw'd them to this resolution,
By which none were permitted to be neuter --
And the lot fell on Juan's luckless tutor.


He but requested to be bled to death:
The surgeon had his instruments, and bled
Pedrillo, and so gently ebb'd his breath,
You hardly could perceive when he was dead.
He died as born, a Catholic in faith,
Like most in the belief in which they're bred,
And first a little crucifix he kiss'd,
And then held out his jugular and wrist.


The surgeon, as there was no other fee,
Had his first choice of morsels for his pains;
But being thirstiest at the moment, he
Preferr'd a draught from the fast-flowing veins:
Part was divided, part thrown in the sea,
And such things as the entrails and the brains
Regaled two sharks, who follow'd o'er the billow --
The sailors ate the rest of poor Pedrillo.


The sailors ate him, all save three or four,
Who were not quite so fond of animal food;
To these was added Juan, who, before
Refusing his own spaniel, hardly could
Feel now his appetite increased much more;
'T was not to be expected that he should,
Even in extremity of their disaster,
Dine with them on his pastor and his master.


'T was better that he did not; for, in fact,
The consequence was awful in the extreme;
For they, who were most ravenous in the act,
Went raging mad -- Lord! how they did blaspheme!
And foam and roll, with strange convulsions rack'd,
Drinking salt water like a mountain-stream,
Tearing, and grinning, howling, screeching, swearing,
And, with hyaena-laughter, died despairing.


Their numbers were much thinn'd by this infliction,
And all the rest were thin enough, Heaven knows;
And some of them had lost their recollection,
Happier than they who still perceived their woes;
But others ponder'd on a new dissection,
As if not warn'd sufficiently by those
Who had already perish'd, suffering madly,
For having used their appetites so sadly.


And if Pedrillo's fate should shocking be,
Remember Ugolino condescends [*]
To eat the head of his arch-enemy
The moment after he politely ends
His tale: if foes be food in hell, at sea
'T is surely fair to dine upon our friends,
When shipwreck's short allowance grows too scanty,
Without being much more horrible than Dante.


Sex, death and politics, not necessarily in that order...

From this morning's New York Times, David Brooks on Americans and Money.

has written Sharpe slash for !

provides a GoldenEye slash fix -- and icons!

explains why songs that you hate get stuck in your head.

My "Dawn" review at TrekNation: Tucker, His Arms Wide

Your Livejournal Analysis

Your Livejournal's Age

According to the information you provided, your Livejournal was created on 2002-10-29, meaning that your journal has been around for 74 days. What does this mean?

Being in the 1-6 month range means that you've likely settled into a routine as far as your posting habits are concerned. By now you probably have most of the functions figured out, though you might still learn a trick or two along the way. You probably still add friends on a regular basis, though that's not always the case. You are still something of a youngin in the LJ community, but at least you are not a newbie.

Your Livejournal Friends

Now let's talk about your friends list. You indicated that you have 47 LJ friends.
A good, considerable number of friends. You've collected quite a few of them in the relatively short time that you've had your journal. Perhaps you gleefully added a bunch of people you found with similar interests, or simply added everyone that you remotely know. Not that it's a bad thing, mind you.

You also have been listed as a friend by 40 users.
That's a decent amount of people paying attention to your journal. Given the fact that your journal is still young, you've done a fairly good job of advertising yourself. Probably got all your friends to add you, maybe joined a few LJ communities to meet some new folks. All in all, a large list for the time you've been around.

Finally in this category, you have a friends to friends-of ratio of 1.175.
This is an average ratio, meaning you have nearly (or maybe exactly) the same number of friends as people who have listed you as a friend. There's a good chance you add back everyone who has added you, and only add people who haven't added you if they are a good friend and chances are they'll be adding you back anyway.

Your Posting Habits

You have indicated that to date, you have made 224 entries into your Livejournal. This gives us an average post rate of 3.027027027027 posts per day.
You are posting more than twice a day, making you quite the busy and avid LJ user. You don't hesitate to make your daily updates, telling the world what's been going on, and you may even update a few times in the day. More than likely you are throwing in webquizzes and random thoughts from time to time, and you might even see it fit to hop on to the computer and update with every little mood swing you encounter!

Your Commenting Habits

According to your information, you have posted 441 comments and have recieved 521 of them over the lifetime of your journal. Let's see what this information can mean.

First of all, this indicates that you have been getting an average of 2.3258928571429 comments for every Livejournal entry that you make.
With an average of at least 2 comments per post or greater, you enjoy a healthy dialogue with your friends and get a lot of response to what you have to say. You might also be posting those silly web quizzes, or making entries that are so interesting or so unusual that people can't help but to comment. Either that, or you just have a buttload of friends.

A more fair measure of how many comments you get might be your average number of comments per post per friend, which is 0.049487082066869. This may seem low to you, especially if you have lots of friends.

The final statistic is the ratio of your comments to comments you get. Your ratio is 0.84644913627639. The higher the ratio, the more talkative you are compared to your friends, comment-wise.

That's it for now! Perhaps there was something insightful in this analasys, and perhaps you learned absolutely nothing. Feel free to post your results on your own Livejournal, and invite your friends to take the Livejournal Analasys today!

Take the "Find Your Inner Elf" quiz
by Rachael