Saturday, January 31, 2004

Poem for Saturday

Possum Crossing
By Nikki Giovanni

Backing out the driveway
the car lights cast an eerie glow
in the morning fog centering
on movement in the rain slick street

Hitting brakes I anticipate a squirrel or a cat or sometimes
a little raccoon
I once braked for a blind little mole who try though he did
could not escape the cat toying with his life
Mother-to-be possum occasionally lopes home . . . being
naturally . . . slow her condition makes her even more ginger

We need a sign POSSUM CROSSING to warn coffee-gurgling neighbors:
we share the streets with more than trucks and vans and
railroad crossings

All birds being the living kin of dinosaurs
think themselves invincible and pay no heed
to the rolling wheels while they dine
on an unlucky rabbit

I hit brakes for the flutter of the lights hoping it's not a deer
or a skunk or a groundhog
coffee splashes over the cup which I quickly put away from me
and into the empty passenger seat
I look . . .
relieved and exasperated ...
to discover I have just missed a big wet leaf
struggling . . . to lift itself into the wind
and live


My husband has taken one boy to Hebrew school and the other to a friend's, meaning that I can sit here with my sore throat and try to do something about all the stupid Trek news that piled up yesterday. My co-worker said that there was lots and lots of CSI news so I figured she was busy writing five stories. She wrote two. Fuck, I wrote two Trek stories and I couldn't even swallow properly, and now she's gone for the weekend leaving me with about 50 bullets.

Forgot to mention that in addition to October Project in the mail yesterday I got The World of Jack Aubrey, courtesy an gift certificate from the affiliate link on my web site. Between this and Hornblower's Navy which a friend in England sent me a couple of years ago, I am wallowing in Nelsonian geekdom. Someone stop me before I try to go to Greenwich for the big anniversary bash at the maritime museum next year.

And hee, there's a in Theatrical Muse. He and have a lot in common, don't they? But I should not be having lustful crossover universe thoughts, should I, because she wouldn't, would she?

Wrong thought for the morning: Russell Crowe hurts his shoulder, delaying the start of shooting for Cinderella Man, and the first thing I think is, "Damn, this probably means he won't be in Toronto at the same time as Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany."

Friday, January 30, 2004

Poem for Friday and <a href

chansons innocentes: I
By e.e. cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and   wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


balloonMan whistles


It's not just-spring, but I was in the mood for that since the ice is slowly melting. And I don't swear that I've got the punctuation or spacing completely correct, it being cummings.

Friday Five. You have just won one million dollars.
1. Who do you call first?

After my husband? My father's who's an attorney, since I suspect I will need one.
2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
Airline tickets to London.
3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
Airline tickets for the rest of our extended family so we can all be in one place at one time.
4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
I donate lots to various charities, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way and whichever Democratic candidate has the best chance of ousting Bush, something of which I'm not certain right now.
5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
I make sure there's enough money in the bank to entirely fund my children's educations at any institution of higher learning they might wish to attend.

Gacked from :

Which Evil Villain Bad Habit are you?

I have things to say but I have been slain by , who led me to this Theban Band art preview of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. It takes a really long time to load. And oh, it is worth the wait. And it's slash, not for kiddies, though unfortunately you can't see anyone's...yeah. Um. Go look.

And thanks to for pointing out "Gondor Accepted into United Nations".

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Desolation Island

In which Jack and Stephen are trapped in a mighty arctic storm and must contend with snow on the deck.

Surprise! Jack and Stephen's comfortable love nest was disturbed by snowfall.

Jack quickly set to work foraging for whatever scraps he could find on the deck...

...while Stephen, ever mindful of health issues, tried to keep hydrated.

Suddenly Jack sighted a French ship!

Quickly they ran to frighten it off.

During winter it is particularly important to protect one's food from foreigners who might try to squirrel it away.

Not that that kept the foreigners from trying to board.

Jack was forced to stand lookout...

...while Stephen attempted to climb down icicles to get into the perch.

But soon the invader jumped onto another deck, and Jack and Stephen went back to dinner.
And they lived happily ever after.
The end.

Poem for Thursday

By Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said)

To the homeland carved
into our lives like a tomb,
out of millennial hibernation, from the dark
of our crippled
history: a sun, none too worshipful,
will come to strike the locust
and the sheikh of sand dead --
and time as it sprouts over the plain
and dries, like mushrooms, over the plain.
A sun fond of sundering and eager
to annihilate, from behind
this bridge, will rise.


Nothing like a poem about the beginning of the end of the world for a Thursday morning.

Yesterday I finished reading Master and Commander and read the first page of Post Captain. I watched this week's Smallville though I still haven't managed to watch last week's Smallville, and I just realized that I have not seen this week's Sex and the City which I am watching out of a perverse desire to give a shit when the series ends. I drove my children outside into the snow even though they complained that their feet were cold and they wanted to stay inside and watch Johnny English again. I had a very long telephone conversation with my college roommate and a somewhat shorter one with my very oldest friend, whom I have known since we were six, who hosts a Superbowl party every year and was making sure we were coming, as if we'd miss it.

My beloved sent me an early Valentine's Day present, a full-length black velvet cape! It is very soft and lovely and I need a proper occasion at which to wear it -- also a clasp. is trying to convince me that the proper way to wear it is with nothing underneath. I think a proper vampire wears fuck-me boots, at least. Also, Rosie the big yellow cat snuck past me and took two steps out the back door in potential pursuit of squirrels, got snow on her paws, glared at me as if this were my fault, and spent a great deal of time licking them clean. Then she spent the rest of the day sprawled on my bed on top of the cape, which I had foolishly left spread out there.

Fic recs: 's "So Heavy A Duty", a Will Blakeney M&C story with Peter, Stephen and Jack lurking in his thoughts. I don't know the writer at all but this piece is lovely. Also, not on LiveJournal but worth the trip, Keiko's "The Glass Portrait", which has probably spoiled me for O'Brian's entire series but I don't care, as it left me smiling so much. And 's entire A/B drabble series on teaching.

And another GIP, because I really need another kick-ass woman. Eowyn vs. the Kai would certainly be something to watch...

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Poem for Wednesday

By Shel Silverstein

I've done it, I've done it!
Guess what I've done!
Invented a light that plugs into the sun.
The sun is bright enough,
The bulb is strong enough,
But, oh, there's only one thing wrong...
The cord ain't long enough.


Why yes, my children are home from school for the third day in a row. However could you tell? I'm not sure how much actual new snow we got, but the front steps are slippery enough that I am not going to second-guess the county this time; my husband managed to drive to work with no problem, but I'm just as happy I don't have to walk the kids to school...which of course I will end up doing later anyway, as the best sledding hill within two miles is right behind the middle school that's a block past the elementary school.

I keep discovering that every so-called "expert's guides to slash" invariably includes some bit of information that, in my own very limited experience, is simply not true in all cases. In the context of any given story that someone may be telling, whether it's based on real life or imagination, many things may be both logical and believable, even if they would not be in every single instance.

I assume that most people pick their slash subjects not because they're ordinary guys but because they're extraordinary -- in many cases, they're immortal or live on other worlds or in the future or they can do things with weapons that I couldn't do with twenty years of training. Is it so impossible that they have better control of certain muscles than the average man, or that they have no constraints about crying, or that they actually like to be teased rather than going straight to genital contact?

Speaking of sex, The Onion made me howl once again: "Study: Most Self-Abuse Goes Unreported".

: "Radiant", for the mutant powers challenge. I wanted to give Martha what I always said would be my superpower of choice, the ability to see the good in everyone, but it didn't quite work out like that in the writing.

And GIP, because he always is.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Poem for Tuesday

Love is a Sickness
By Samuel Daniel

LOVE is a sickness full of woes,
  All remedies refusing;
A plant that with most cutting grows,
  Most barren with best using.
          Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries—
          Heigh ho!

Love is a torment of the mind,
  A tempest everlasting;
And Jove hath made it of a kind
  Not well, nor full nor fasting.
          Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries—
          Heigh ho!


You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. I look around me and I see it isn't so. Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. And that is my excuse for today's poem.

Another snow day, no Hebrew school in the afternoon even, so I must find a way to keep my children entertained as I am petrified to drive in our ice-covered neighborhood that has not been properly plowed. And in between the entertainment I must find a way to write up some articles for TrekToday, like Bruckheimer's movie nosing in on the serious award categories. Depp's nomination is all well and good but if POTC beats M&C or ROTK in any of the technical categories, I may rant a little.

Ah, the Oscar nominees. On the one hand, I am thrilled about the sheer numbers received for my two favorites -- I suspected ROTK would pull in the loot and with Cold Mountain getting the slapdown it deserves, the way looks clear for it to steamroll. But I hadn't dared hope that M&C would do so well and am really hoping this means something, DVD and sequel-wise.

On the other hand, my dilemma about whether to root for Sean Astin or Paul Bettany in the supporting actor category has been most unpleasantly solved for me. And I was even willing not to root for Russell over Johnny if they were both nominated but no -- apparently the two best movies of the year got that way with no quality performances! I can't even complain about snobbishness really if Depp got the nod; it's just strange.

: "Ashore"

Berries in Snow

Monday, January 26, 2004

Poem for Monday

The Islands
By H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)


WHAT are the Islands to me,
what is Greece,
what is Rhodes, Samos, Chios,
what is Paros facing west,
what is Crete?

What is Samothrace,
rising like a ship,
what is Imbros redning the storm-waves
with its breast?

What is Naxos, Paros, Milos,
what the circle about Lycia,
what, the Cyclades’
white necklace?

What is Greece—
Sparta, rising like a rock,
Thebes, Athens,
what is Corinth?

What is Euboia
with its island violets,
what is Euboia, spread with grass,
set with swift shoals,
what is Crete?

What are the islands to me,
what is Greece?


What can love of land give to me
that you have not—
what do the tall Spartans know,
and gentler Attic folk?

What has Sparta and her women
more than this?

What are the islands to me
if you are lost—

What is Naxos, Tinos, Andros,
and Delos, the clasp
of the white necklace?


What can love of land give to me
that you have not,
what can love of strife break in me
that you have not?
Though Sparta enter Athens,
salt, rising to wreak terror
Thebes wrack Sparta,
each changes as water,
and fall back.


“What has love of land given to you
that I have not?”

I have questioned Tyrians
where they sat
on the black ships,
weighted with rich stuffs,
I have asked the Greeks
from the white ships,
and Greeks from ships whose hulks
lay on the wet sand, scarlet
with great beaks.

I have asked bright Tyrians
and tall Greeks—
“what has love of land given you?”

And they answered—“peace.”


But beauty is set apart,
beauty is cast by the sea,
a barren rock,
beauty is set about
with wrecks of ships,
upon our coasts, death keeps
the shallows—death waits
clutching toward us
from the deeps.

Beauty is set apart;
the winds that slash its beach,
swirl the coarse sand
upward toward the rocks.

Beauty is set apart
from the islands
and from Greece.


In my garden,
the winds have beaten
the ripe lilies;
in my garden, the salt
has wilted the first flakes
of young narcissus,
and the lesser hyacinth
and the salt has crept
under the leaves of the white hyacinth.

In my garden
even the wind-flowers lie fiat,
broken by the wind at last.


What are the islands to me
if you are lost,
what is Paros to me
if your eyes draw back,
what is Milos
if you take fright of beauty,
terrible, torturous, isolated,
a barren rack

What is Rhodes, Crete,
what is Paros facing west,
what, white Imbros?

What are the islands to me
if you hesitate,
what is Greece if you draw back
from the terror
and cold splendor of song
and its bleak sacrifice?


Was reminded of this poem by in . I did my junior and senior thesis projects in college on the women of Modernism -- Margaret Anderson and The Little Review one year, women poets and the transformation of language the next -- and H.D was my very favorite.

We got about six inches of snow, the very powdery sort. I expect I shall be sledding presently with my children.

pointed out this sexual identity meme which purports to explain one's habits based on the first letter of one's first name.

You are emotional and intense. When involved in a relationship, you throw your entire being into it. Nothing stops you; there are no holds barred. You are all consuming and crave someone who is equally passionate and intense. You believe in total sexual freedom. You are willing to try anything and everything. Your supply of sexual energy is inexhaustible. You also enjoy mothering your mate.

The Onion made me howl this morning with "Labor Secretary Has Her Hours Cut": "Deeming the move 'regrettable but necessary,' White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card announced Monday that Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao's work hours will be scaled back to 30 per week starting Jan. 26." Also the main article, "Scientists Abandon AI Project After Seeing The Matrix", made me giggle too, especially Governor Schwarzenegger's opposition.

Golden Globes: Yeah, woo hoo, about time, but it feels like anti-climax. Then again if PJ had lost it would simply have felt frustrating, so I guess this is better. Will root for him at the Oscars but first I want M&C to get enough nominations to get disussions of a sequel going. I don't expect it to win anything so I won't be upset when it doesn't.

Boy there are a lot of us suffering from January malaise. Is there a support group?

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Winter Afternoon

The icicles were spectacular.

The dam was frozen over in places and had been dredged by a giant crane that smashed the ice and pulled out tree branches and big plates of ice.

Great Falls ornamented with ice and snow.

Half of this waterfall is flowing; the other half is a bubbly block of ice.

There were fangs of ice overhanging most of the narrower channels of the falls, and piles of snow in places left over from the night before last.

The non-migratory ducks did not appear to mind the weather, as they were busily eating something off the bottom of the part of the canal that had not frozen and we saw more of their butts than their heads, which amused the boys to no end.

We walked across the C&O Canal from the towpath, something I have never done in all the years I have lived in Potomac. People were playing hockey. The ice appeared to be at least six inches thick but was probably more for the park to have roped off sections for public skating, something that I gather only happens when the temperature has been in the 20s for several consecutive days.

My in-laws were supposed to come down, pick the kids up and take them back with them for the night (there's no school tomorrow, some teacher's meeting), but due to the threat of snow, we postponed that. So from Great Falls, we went to the co-op in search of Tunisian almonds and bulk Chinese snack mix, then to two different stores looking for a DVD that my younger son wanted to buy with the remainder of his Chanukah money, which neither one had. T'was a relatively peaceful afternoon.

PSA for ! *thwaps you with pillow* Let me assure you that even having 250 people on your Flist does not make you feel like you really have friends on a bad day. It does not, however, mean that you don't have them.

Poem for Sunday

Cuchulain Comforted
By W. B. Yeats

A man that had six mortal wounds, a man
Violent and famous, strode among the dead;
Eyes stared out of the branches and were gone.

Then certain Shrouds that muttered head to head
Came and were gone. He leant upon a tree
As though to meditate on wounds and blood.

A Shroud that seemed to have authority
Among those bird-like things came, and let fall
A bundle of linen. Shrouds by two and three

Came creeping up because the man was still.
And thereupon that linen-carrier said
"Your life can grow much sweeter if you will

"Obey our ancient rule and make a shroud;
Mainly because of what we only know
The rattle of those arms makes us afraid.

"We thread the needles' eyes and all we do
All must together do." That done, the man
Took up the nearest and began to sew.

"Now we shall sing and sing the best we can
But first you must be told our character:
Convicted cowards all by kindred slain

"Or driven from home and left to die in fear."
They sang, but had nor human notes nor words,
Though all was done in common as before,

They had changed their throats and had the throats of birds.


From The Washington Post Poet's Choice column this morning by Edward Hirsch: "I have long been haunted by W. B. Yeats's penultimate poem 'Cuchulain Comforted,' which he completed just two weeks before his death. Here the eponymous heroic warrior inexplicably finds himself welcomed into the otherworld by singing cowards, his exact opposites in life, whom he joins in death. "The hero, absorbed into a purgatorial otherworld, has to await resurrection and reincarnation," as R.F. Foster puts it in the second and concluding volume of his splendid new biography of Yeats, W.B. Yeats, A Life, II: The Arch-Poet, (Oxford Univ., $45): 'WBY's last poetic vision of the afterlife is not a refuge 'where the blessed dance,' nor the transforming dolphin-journey to Byzantium, nor even the reunion rehearsed in numerous seance rooms, but a banishment to the company of outcasts.'

The wonderful led me to this site which has a tiny, terrible MOV file with snippets from Star Wars: Episode III, including glimpses of Hayden and Ewan prcticing fights in costume and goofing off together, played to AC/DC. It is astonishing to discover that anything can get me excited about Star Wars after AOTC, but it kind of did.

Home Sweet Nest II

And GIP, because it's been, well, days.

And from The Guardian, because Paul Bettany put me so in the mood for it with this: "As in A Beautiful Mind, [Bettany] ended up playing Russell Crowe's sensitive alter ego. Is this a role he plans to pursue? He laughs. 'Well, when my wife can't play Russell's wife, I play his wife. I am his bitch for ever now.'"

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Poem for Saturday

Poem for Adlai Stevenson and Yellow Jackets
By David Young

It's summer, 1956, in Maine, a camp resort
on Belgrade Lakes, and I am cleaning fish,
part of my job, along with luggage, firewood,
Sunday ice cream, waking everyone
by jogging around the island every morning
swinging a rattle I hold in front of me
to break the nightly spider threads.
Adlai Stevenson is being nominated,
but won't, again, beat Eisenhower,
sad fact I'm half aware of, steeped as I am
in Russian novels, bathing in the tea-
brown lake, startling a deer and chasing it by canoe
as it swims from the island to the mainland.
I'm good at cleaning fish: lake trout,
those beautiful deep swimmers, brown trout,
I can fillet them and take them to the cook
and the grateful fisherman may send a piece
back from his table to mine, a salute.
I clean in a swarm of yellow jackets,
sure they won't sting me, so they don't,
though they can't resist the fish, the slime,
the guts that drop into the bucket, they're mad
for meat, fresh death, they swarm around
whenever I work at this outdoor sink
with somebody's loving catch.
Later this summer we'll find their nest
and burn it one night with a blowtorch
applied to the entrance, the paper hotel
glowing with fire and smoke like a lantern,
full of the death-bees, hornets, whatever they are,
that drop like little coals
and an oily smoke that rolls through the trees
into the night of the last American summer
next to this one, 36 years away, to show me
time is a pomegranate, many-chambered,
nothing like what I thought.


The end of this poem, in addition to choking me up in its own right, gave me an urge to read a poem that I think is by Tennessee Williams, with a first and last line along the lines of "my sister was quicker at everything than I," where the effects of love are compared to what happens to a tissue paper lantern. It might be the epigraph to A Streetcar Named Desire though I might be entirely muddled. At any rate, I can't find the damn thing no matter what permutations of "tissue paper lantern," "Tennessee Williams," "my sister was quicker at everything," etc. I plug into various search engines. Surely someone here knows the poem I mean?

Gacked from much of my Friends list, my rather tame rating. I think my utter lack of interest in drugs and violence brings my score down on such quizzes. But what's funny is that, in U.S. movies, drugs and violence don't get the rating to NC-17 anyway; only really vivid sex does that, and I'll take really vivid sex over drugs and violence any time.

My life has been rated:
Click to find out your rating!
See what your rating is!

Suitable for 12 years or older, but under 18s must be with an adult. This is virtually identical to the 12 certificate, in that we'll have some adult-themed storylines, but no real meat or detail. No scary bits, but some language and maybe a bit of skin. Examples: Die Another Day, Lord Of The Rings.

Friday, January 23, 2004

The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain

This interested me so much I'm reprinting the whole thing: From today's Washington Post (which I finally had time to flip through over lunch), a review of The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain.

The Washington Post
Friday, January 23, 2004; Page C03
Daily Book Review
WORLDS APART by Carolyn See
(who can be reached at

The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain

By Alice W. Flaherty
Houghton Mifflin. 307 pp. $24

At the beginning of the year, there it was again, rolling past, the Rose Parade, down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif. There were all those floats, and somebody engineered them and drove them, and flocks of someones had stuck on all those dried peas and shredded bulrushes. Then the bands and all the folks on horseback, smiling and waving, and, in bleachers and sleeping bags, there was everyone who came out to watch, smiling and waving back.

And somewhere, out across the nation, cringing in front of their television sets, often nursing hangovers, were the sinners, the depressives, the eccentrics, the troubled and disturbed -- the writers, oh, God -- trying to make sense of it all: the New Year, the turn of the season, the slaughter of flowers, the nature of trombonists and tambourine bangers; the writers all the while thinking -- while reaching for the eggnog's last dregs -- why can't I be out there? Why can't I march? Why couldn't I have been out there with my fellow man, pasting on cabbage blossoms like everybody else?

Often, then, the writers might put down their drinks with trembling hands and breaking hearts, and maybe write a thousand words about the beauty, the deeper meaning of the Rose Parade. That's all we can do. Because we're different, they and we, them and us, the "normals" and the writers.

Alice W. Flaherty, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, would put this down to differences in our physical brains. Extra activity in our temporal lobes, including seizures, may compel some of us to write. Shifts in our limbic system -- which affects our rages, our hungers, our desires -- may, at another whole level, also compel us to write. This writing may, in fact, be a manifestation of mental illness: Writers are 10 times more likely than the general population to be manic-depressive; a great many writers through the years have had epilepsy. But can these illnesses be, in fact, a gift? The author would think so: "If we are all a little bit sick, it is not all that sick to be sick." "The Midnight Disease," earlier titled "Crazy About Writing," is another book about the writer's life, to be added to those by Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, E.L. Doctorow, Terry Brooks and dozens of others, including me.

But this one is different for two reasons. In addition to being a writer, Flaherty is a neurologist; her training and grounding are mechanistic, focused on the real, physical brain. More importantly, perhaps, after each of two pregnancies, in which she lost a pair of twin boys and successfully bore twin daughters, Flaherty suffered postpartum depression and then bouts of mania in which she felt compelled to write -- extended works full of meaning, on sets of the very smallest Post-its available. (Here, the reader, if she is a writer, has to laugh.) There's no posturing here, no help, no "inspiration for others," no pretentious blather about the literary life. In the clearest, cleanest possible way, the author has had it all and cured it all; been there, done that. She's written, not written, been sane, been crazy and knows enough about the brain to essay a set of theories (and facts) that might explain all those activities.

This is a learned book. It's chock-full of information on drug use and alcohol, hallucination and vision, advice and caveats from writers of every stamp. Some of the information is poignantly practical: Hot showers and clean clothes may sometimes help writer's block, and stay away from the snooze button on your alarm because it won't help your mental state! There is the story of a child who tried, literally, to climb into a book and broke down sobbing because he couldn't. And a marvelous chapter on metaphor and inspiration, dealing with use of language and the connections between the muses who speak to writers and the divinities who have spoken (or is it our own inner voices that speak?) to our visionaries and saints.

One of the gifts of the author's mania has been to take her from the ranks of "them" (scientists, who live in a C Major, provable world and write atrocious prose in the passive voice) over to the squadrons of "us" (for whom the irrational is often full of meaning and literature is the highest truth). But then, her training has batted her halfway back again. She spells out, again in the cleanest possible way, why we write, whether it be to confess our sins, or sing the world into being, or express ourselves in fits of naked egoism or change our imperfect world into something we think might be a little bit better.

This woman is the real thing. When you call up her bio on the Internet, she says, after "Foreign languages spoken," "French, sort of." There's not a lie in here, at least that I could find. And her writing magically transforms her own tragedies into something strange and whimsical almost, almost funny. She continues the 17th-century metaphysical debate between the Body and the Soul: "All the works of the spirit," she writes, "are made with corrupt bodies." She gracefully grants merit to both.

Poem for Friday and <a href

In the Next Galaxy
By Ruth Stone

Things will be different.
No one will lose their sight,
their hearing, their gallbladder.
It will be all Catskills with brand
new wrap-around verandas.
The idea of Hitler will not
have vibrated yet.
While back here,
they are still cleaning out
pockets of wrinkled
Nazis hiding in Argentina.
But in the next galaxy,
certain planets will have true
blue skies and drinking water.


Sorry I'm late but I was watching Russell on the Live With Regis and Kelly rerun. Why did those morons at Fox and Universal market Master and Commander as an action flick rather than a witty character-based historical drama?

Ah well. Friday Five:
At this moment, what is your favorite...

"Sail These Same Oceans," Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts.
Goong phuket.
3. show?
4. ...scent?
5. ...quote?
"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, yet have not love, I am but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, understanding all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith to move mountains, yet have not love, I have nothing."

1. What is your favorite series finale? Why?
Deep Space Nine's "What You Leave Behind" and the arc leading up to it. Wraps up all the storylines that mattered to me in a moving, intelligent and dramatic way.
2. What is your favorite exit for a character? Why?
Boromir's death in The Fellowship of the Ring. Because it happens for a reason -- many reasons -- and absolutely everything that happens afterward is contingent upon it. It's the very opposite of a meaningless character death.
3. What is your favorite beginning of a relationship? Why?
If we're talking TV, probably Mulder and Scully's, because it was complex and witty and imperfect and really looked like it would go somewhere. But reading Master and Commander, I must say that I adore the way Jack and Stephen fall in hate at first sight and then promptly fall in love the next day once they realize what they have in common.
4. What is your favorite introduction of a character? Why?
I know this is an unpopular opinion but I really liked the way DS9 brought on Ezri Dax after Jadzia's death. It made sense, it had both the awkwardness and familiarity that I expected and with a few missteps (the Garak relationship) it brought something new and interesting to a dynamic that hadn't been growing much. I'm also pretty fond of how Sirius Black gets introduced in Harry Potter.
5. What is your favorite pilot episode? Why?
Voyager's "Caretaker." Fastest I have ever fallen in love.

Speaking of fandom, everyone run to 's journal to look at this picture of Leonard Nimoy that really must be seen. And then beg her to post more of her Trek-era treasures.

Here's the latest gay marriage poll, passed on from . Just go vote.

That "ask a question about something I've written" meme -- feel free to do that any time, about anything. If it's ten years old, I might not remember everything, but I will try.

Was reading a couple of Friends list entries and thinking about what extraordinary arrogance it takes to post a complaint about how too many people in this community of writers think they have what it takes to become "serious" novelists, by someone who seems to think that Big Name Fandom makes her more qualified than anyone else. (Ironically, the two well-known, professionally acclaimed novelists on my Flist never print this sort of screed; they are busy actually writing their novels, asking for feedback on ideas and encouraging other writers to write in whatever manner best suits their habits and interests.) Yes, learning to spell is important and letting go of the crutches of amateur fic will make one's work more compelling, but having something unique and interesting to say is far more important than the scaffolding of it. Give me a horribly edited, unlyrical story that's about something -- or, more importantly, about someone -- and I guarantee that I can edit it into a better novel than whatever my Serious Writer Friends Who Nonetheless Hang Out On Livejournal Writing Fan Fiction In Their Spare Time are pulling out of their asses today.

HOW DO YOU KISS? by 3circledsun
Your Kiss...Melts upon
...closed eyelids
...and lands about
...tender lips.
Created with quill18's MemeGen 2.0!

Am having one of those mid-life crisis days when I feel largely unloved and unappreciated and everything feels useless. Again I feel like up and ditching fandom altogether, doing the family stuff I should be doing and writing what I should be writing.

On which note, off to cover the probable cancellation of Boston Public. Ho hum.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Poem for Thursday

The Wooden Trap
By Kevin Cantwell

The held cry of a hawk makes Thomas Hardy think
to make her believe it's a newborn's cry she hears.
Milk wets through her blouse. The other women know
at once. That's chapter one. How it starts
to grow while above his head the cumuli
accumulate. The August fields waver beyond
the privet hedge. He's given up the novel
for poetry. The women look at each other.
One counts out change on a plank counter.
That's that she says. Then exposition's drift
to flashback: How a horseshoe loosens;
how when leading the horse the master returns.
Not angry, only to get it done right.
How she presses under the eaves of the shed
with him while the afternoon rain comes down
so hard they are nearly soaked anyway.
The editorial omniscient bites his tongue.
Innocent as it goes. The scent of windfall
rises up through the apple tree from the ground.
Some of the leaves bronze even now. There's no
turning back but that's getting ahead of ourselves.
There's Hardy. Shoes a disgrace. Canvas gaiters
undone and one foot on top of the ladder
where it narrows at the highest rung, the worn wood
twice the width of a stirrup, and one foot
in the crotch of a limb. He has it all
worked out. She's in another country where rumor's made
a place for her. Where's the little one?
they ask, but she presses past them into the lane,
It serves her right but no one says it
so that she hears. A limb tumbles through the green
cloud of foliage. And then another. He cuts it back
to make it bear, though a neighbor's stopped to tell him
it's ill-advised so late in the season.
She finds a place for herself as a domestic
until the governor says a girl's come back.
They'll have to let her go. It's dusk. The clouds
go pink to shell. He folds the little saw.
The ladder widens to its base, A trick of perspective
also that lures the gopher into the wooden box
he's set in its tunnel, the hole which looks
like an exit, the end of the tunnel, daylight,
but smaller than its head and those footsteps
on the earth above, which pause and anticipate
her every turn, and block her escape
with a garden fork plunged into the lyric dark.


This is one of the scarier meme results I've ever gotten. I can only assure everyone that it will never be true!

Which HP Bunny Will Bite You Next? by mctabby
Favorite Vegetable
you will writeTom Riddle
paired withHermione
your fic will involveraspberry jelly
and end indisaster
Created with quill18's MemeGen 2.0!

Must get busy because I am going to meet for Indian food and squeeing!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


Here's my Proving Ground review. It rambles and it's uninspired because I liked the episode but didn't love it even though it did most of the things I like it when Enterprise does.

National Geographic has some kind of special on Master and Commander and sailing ships on tomorrow at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. EST, as I discovered via . VCR programmed; now to keep the kids away from it before school!

That "say anonymous things to people on your Friends list" meme brings out all my paranoia. I assume all the negative ones are about me. So I'm not doing it. *g*

That is all!

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

By James Merrill

The stones of kin and friend
Stretch off into a trembling, sweatlike haze.

They may not after all be stepping-stones
But you have followed them. Each strands you, then

Does not. Not yet. Not here.
Is it a crossing? Is there no way back?

Soft gleams lap the base of the one behind you
On which a black girl sings and combs her hair.

It's she who some day (when your stone is in place)
Will see that much further into the golden vagueness

Forever about to clear. Love with his chisel
Deepens the lines begun upon your face.


: "Anywhere But Here", for the anywhere-but-Smallville challenge.

Yesterday was one of those low key chore days where I got things done but nothing that I can feel any real sense of accomplishment about. I had a few lovely moments, like folding laundry while watching the penultimate episode of the first season of Dawson's Creek, and feeding me the phrase "grinning like a complete and utter fool" in an amusing context while writing pointless but highly entertaining fic. Perhaps today I shall wrestle with Jack and Stephen (in fic, not the squirrels) if I have time.

Got my free Palm rebate audio kit, including a 64 MB card that also holds photos and documents (i.e., fic). Now I can play "Hold On," "Closer To Fine" and "Where You Are" wherever I am, using something smaller than the paper date book I've used for the past five years...and it's a digital camera too! How did I ever live without my Zire 71? This is the best $250 I have ever spent. Also, I got one free book with the audio kit, and of the choices, I picked the Star Trek title, just because. Now I need to figure out if I can listen to it on the computer because I don't want to waste 11 MB of my Palm memory on it.

Also, I finally got TOFOG's Bastard Life or Clarity, and am so happy it's silly considering most of the songs are on the Texas DVD and I've heard all of them before. It's a lovely whimsical CD with a baby on the liner cover and a diaper pin inside the case. Have I mentioned yet that I have a tiny little crush on Russell Crowe? Um. I blame the fact that I have half-formed M&C songvids in my head to two of these songs.

Gacked from , because I haven't done one in ages, a Harry Potter meme.

When did you first discover Harry Potter? I first heard of it from the older sibling of a kid in nursery school with my son. But I didn't read it until my husband started reading the first book aloud to our older son.
Book first or movie first? I didn't really pay attention to the books until the first movie, so I'm not sure how to answer this; I read COS before seeing it but I had only heard about a third of SS before the movie.
Were you hooked instantly, or did it take a while? Took a long time. I enjoyed POA but didn't think much about it after finishing it, as I had read it aloud to my younger son and was thinking of it as a kids' book. It took OOTP to convert me to being an actual fan.
Did you instantly fall in love w/ any specific character? Remus Lupin. Though it was Remus and Sirius together in book five that really kicked me into the fandom. I'm a 'shipper first and foremost, can't help it.

Lupin. No contest.
Marauder: Remus, though without Sirius and James he wouldn't interest me the same way.
Gryffindor: McGonagall.
Slytherin: Snape.
Hufflepuff: Helga. I've always thought I should be a Hufflepuff based on her reasons for founding the House as she did, but I always test out as Ravenclaw.
Ravenclaw: Luna.
Character overall: Sirius, Remus and Severus. I reserve the right to take back the latter if Rowling turns him into a cardboard villain like Lucius Malfoy in later books.

How long did it take you to read...
Book 1?
A long time.
Book 2? Was reading it aloud to a child, so perhaps three weeks?
Book 3? Same as book two, only I cheated and read ahead.
Book 4? Read aloud and took forever. More than a month, I'd guess.
Book 5? Four days. Started reading aloud, gave up and gobbled it down while the kids were asleep.

If you were in Harry Potter...
What house would you be in?
The tests say Ravenclaw, though I think I should be Hufflepuff and I have on rare occasion been sorted into Gryffindor. I am not a Slytherin, that's all that's certain.
What would your pet be? A cat.
What would your wand be? This is a very Mary Sue question, isn't it, since the wand chooses the wizard!
Who would you date? I can't think of a single character in the books I would personally want to date. I don't do self-insertion that way.
What would be your fav. subject? Divination, with a decent teacher. Otherwise History of Magic.

How did you feel about youknowwho dying?
Horrible, infuriated, miserable.
What are your views on the Dark Lord? Boring as shit. He wants to be all-powerful and live forever...snore. Tom Riddle is much, much more interesting, as are all the characters struggling with various aspects of evil -- Snape, Umbridge, Draco and Lucius before book five.
Weasleys or Malfoys? To read about or to live with? I'd much rather have dinner with the Weasleys. But in terms of having captured my imagination, it's Malfoys.

End meme.

Things I love: first-time stories, even if they're about the same two characters over and over. Things I do not love: so-called professional writers who also write fan fiction, telling me all the reasons I should stop writing fan fiction and work on my novel. Hey, if I thought publishing a hack genre novel would make me rich and famous and improve my financial worth, my self-worth or anything else, I'd have done it already, thanks. Besides, you are obviously getting something from the fanfic or you would have stopped writing it by now.

Of the choices, yeah, this is probably true, because it's not a scarf, a frying pan or non-domesticity is showing!

Frodo's Ring
Frodo's Ring
Which LOTR item are you obsessed with?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Poem for Tuesday

Aboard at a Ship's Helm
By Walt Whitman

Aboard at a ship's helm,
A young steersman steering with care.

Through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing,
An ocean-bell--O a warning bell, rock'd by the waves.

O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea-reefs ringing,
Ringing, ringing, to warn the ship from its wreck-place.

For as on the alert O steersman, you mind the loud admonition,
The bows turn, the freighted ship tacking speeds away under her gray sails,
The beautiful and noble ship with all her precious wealth speeds
away gayly and safe.

But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship!
Ship of the body, ship of the soul, voyaging, voyaging, voyaging.


Shorter Whitman, because "Proud Music of The Storm" seemed rather long to reproduce, but here's the link because it is so worth reading. Also, GIP, even if it's anachronistic, because Jack deserves some Whitman.

There is a little birdie in the feeder torturing Jack and Stephen (the squirrels), who are trying to dive off the plastic swimming pool (which is standing on its side for the winter) onto the feeder to get at the seed. This is entertainment a-plenty while trying to write news bullets.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Something Nautical And Fascinating

We didn't make it to viewing #3 of Return of the King. As it transpires, it was only playing at noon or 4:30, and we weren't organized early enough to make the early show, and we had too much that needed to get done this evening to make the later show. We promised the kids that we will go next Saturday afternoon after Hebrew school. However, since it was cold and we'd already declared it a movie day...we went to see M&C again. So I've shattered my longstanding six-theatrical-viewings record held by Kiss of the Spider Woman since 1986 (TTT tied it but did not surpass it). And I will say unhesitatingly: M&C is my favorite film of 2003. It may be my favorite film since FOTR. I squealed in total pleasure when I saw the BAFTA nominations this morning, and it wasn't because of ROTK, though I do hope Peter Jackson wins because it's about damn time.

Anyway, thoughts on #7: There is absolutely nothing in this film that diminishes, even as it gets easier to nitpick things that went utterly unnoticed on earlier viewings -- they are such nitpicks, the kind of thing I would only notice after half a dozen viewings, not interfering at all with the ten million details I love. The last time I saw the film at this multiplex, it was in the smallest theater; today it was back in one of the larger ones and completely sold out, down to the front row of the stadium seats, with people wandering up and down the stairs driving us nuts for the first fifteen minutes looking for better seats.

Interestingly, more than half the crowd must have been over 50, possibly over 60. It makes me really roll my eyes at Fox, which apparently had declared the film dead after its weak first week receipts, when instead of continuing to advertise or trying a new push they just let it sort of keep on; I realize that their demographic and even my demographic are considered utterly irrelevant by the studios, but if this film had been in a bigger theater today or perhaps at more showings, they would be making a lot more money off of it. I can't decide whether I want the movie to kick ass during awards season and possibly trigger a sequel, or if a sequel that would likely be made without Peter Weir would just dilute everything I love about this movie and if I'm better off just hoping for an awesome DVD with lots of extras. Anyway, while I'm in M&C squee mode, a shirtless Jack photo and a bunch of BAFTA links at .

Poem for Monday

I Have A Dream
By Martin Luther King, Jr.

Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.

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!"


Parts of this are exposition rather than poetry but one so seldom sees it reprinted in its entirety rather than in excerpts that I think it's well worth it.

Was thinking about 's passed-on "post an excerpt from something you've written" meme and have discovered that I hate all my poetry. This happens periodically. Usually it means that I need to write more. Can't find any I want to post an excerpt from at any rate, and, you know, I do so much damn writing -- fiction, essays, letters -- that I can't find any one thing I want to excerpt at the moment.

I wish I had something exciting to report, it being a holiday weekend and all, but I spent all morning writing my site columns and review round-up for TrekToday, then a little while answering mail and stuff and then we went over to my parents' to watch the New England game with my father, since my mother is at my sister's in New York. Had I gotten my shit together just a little earlier, I would have taken my kids to see Peter Pan again which they both announced they wanted to do (for that matter, had I gotten my shit together a little earlier, I probably could have convinced them to see Master and Commander with me one more time). I was slightly nervous about driving in the snow since it was unclear how much more we would get, but the roads were pretty clear.

But I didn't get my shit together in time, so I had three hours of feigning interest in the game while reading on my parents' couch and my kids got bored. Then we were going to go to the food court in the mall for dinner, but the food court had closed by the time we got there (silly us, we were thinking of holiday hours), so we ended up at the local deli, where I consoled myself with excellent matzoh ball soup and a toasted sesame seed bagel with salty lox, just the way I like it.

Older son is demanding that we see Return of the King again. What a sacrifice. Maybe the third time, something magical will happen. Sometimes it takes me that long for obsession to take over; it did with FOTR, after all.

Aragorn Gets Protective

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Poem for Sunday

By William Meredith

What it must be like to be an angel
or a squirrel, we can imagine sooner.

The last time we go to bed good,
they are there, lying about darkness.

They dandle us once too often,
these friends who become our enemies.

Suddenly one day, their juniors
are as old as we yearn to be.

They get wrinkles where it is better
smooth, odd coughs, and smells.

It is grotesque how they go on
loving us, we go on loving them.

The effrontery, barely imaginable,
of having caused us. And of how.

Their lives: surely
we can do better than that.

This goes on for a long time. Everything
they do is wrong, and the worst thing,

they all do it, is to die,
taking with them the last explanation,

how we came out of the wet sea
or wherever they got us from,

taking the last link
of that chain with them.

Father, mother, we cry, wrinkling,
to our uncomprehending children and grandchildren.


From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in The Washington Post:

"In 1983, at the age of 64, William Meredith suffered a stroke that left him with expressive aphasia, which means that for the past 20 years he has been unable to say or write precisely what he means. 'I know it,' he will declare forcefully, 'but I can't say the words.' Meredith's body trapped and betrayed him, but he has borne up under the frustrating affliction with resilient grace and dignity....his condition gives special weight to the title of his new and selected poems, Effort at Speech (1997), which is preoccupied throughout with the poet's determined struggle to speak accurately and truthfully in hard times."

I posted these articles in and might as well link here for people who might be interested but don't do the A/M slash thing. First, Paul Bettany in Vogue, UK edition, February issue, Cate Blanchett on the cover. Very lovely pictures of Bettany, lots of gushing about him and some about Russell Crowe, page one, page two, page three and page four. Second, Bettany in Hollywood Life, again some nice quotes -- he's sick of discussing his bare butt, loathes working out, admits to having been intimidated by Peter Weir and compares talking about acting to sex -- page one and page two. (And since I am an already an admitted Loser Fan Girl, can anyone scan me the pic of Jennifer Connelly and their baby that was in People recently?)

Found this appalling news about the space telescope via , otherwise I might have missed it entirely, and it figures we had to hear it from the BBC!

Just had to post this, gacked shamelessly from , in case anyone managed to miss it from here via here:

[Nazz] Viggo you're now at the stage where you could get the majority of roles you wanted. You've had love scenes with Gwyneth Paltrow and now Liv Tyler. Is there anyone you aspire to have a love scene with, in the world?

Viggo: "Gimli? That was cut from the movie - maybe it'll be in the Extended Version."

[Nazz] I did hear about you and the bearded ladies.

Viggo: "There was a very nice beard tugging moment between me and Sean, if they ever go back and make a more extended version. You can ask Sean about it. He may pretend not to remember. And there were bearded ladies on this production, quite a few."

Comments from this entry are locked at its original location here.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Violating the Articles of War

The further adventures of Jack and Stephen, the squirrels who live on the deck.

Jack looked down to see Stephen engaged in his favorite activity...

...licking himself. (Well, his favorite activity next to climbing trees.)

"Hey! I can do that!" Jack said, and jumped down to join him.

But Stephen realized that they were being watched! Quickly they ran...

...and Jack leaped off the deck...

...while Stephen hid behind a bucket.

Soon, however, they were bored. Jack came back to get Stephen...

...who went off with him to their love nest in the trees.
And they lived happily ever after.
The end.

Someone please remind me to tape InStyle: Celebrity Weddings at 10:00 p.m. on Monday night, please, because I am that much of a loser. But the squirrels have put me in a better mood.

Poem for Saturday

How Can It Be I Am No Longer I
By Lucie Brock-Broido

Winter was the ravaging in the scarified
Ghost garden, a freak of letters crossing down a rare

Path bleak with poplars. Only the yew were a crewel
Of kith at the fieldstone wall, annulled

As a dulcimer cinched in a green velvet sack.
To be damaged is to endanger--taut as the stark

Throats of castrati in their choir, lymphless & fawning
& pale. The miraculous conjoining

Where the beamless air harms our self & lung,
Our three-chambered heart & sternum,

Where two made a monstrous
Braid of other, ravishing.

To damage is an animal hunch
& urge, thou fallen--the marvelous much

Is the piece of Pleidaes the underworld calls
The nightsky from their mud & rime. Perennials

Ghost the ground & underground the coffled
Veins, an aneurism of the ice & spectacle.

I would not speak again. How flinching
The world will seem--in the lynch

Of light as I sail home in a winter steeled
For the deaths of the few loved left living I will

Always love. I was a flint
To bliss & barbarous, a bristling

Of tracks like a starfish carved on his inner arm,
A tindering of tissue, a reliquary, twinned.

A singe of salt-hay shrouds the orchard-skin,
That I would be--lukewarm, mammalian, even then,

In winter when moss sheathes every thing alive
& everything not or once alive.

That I would be--dryadic, gothic, fanatic against
The vanishing; I will not speak to you again.


It makes no difference who you are, I am your angel:

You are one of the few out there whose wings are
truly ANGELIC. Selfless, powerful, and
divine, you are one blessed with a certain
cosmic grace. You are unequalled in
peacefulness, love, and beauty. As a Being of
Light your wings are massive and a soft white
or silver. Countless feathers grace them and
radiate the light within you for all the world
to see. You are a defender, protector, and
caretaker. Comforter of the weak and forgiver
of the wrong, chances are you are taken
advantage of once in awhile, maybe quite often.
But your innocence and wisdom sees the good in
everyone and so this mistreatment does not make
you colder. Merciful to the extreme, you will
try to help misguided souls find themselves and
peace. However not all Angelics allow
themselves to be gotten the better of - the
Seraphim for example will be driven to fighting
for the sake of Justice and protection of those
less powerful. Congratulations - and don't ever
change - the world needs more people like you.
*~*~*Claim Your Wings - Pics and Long Answers*~*~*
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Friday, January 16, 2004

Poem for Friday and <a href

Baseball and Writing
By Marianne Moore

Suggested by post-game broadcasts'

Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting
and baseball is like writing.
    You can never tell with either
      how it will go
      or what you will do;
    generating excitement--
    a fever in the victim--
    pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter.
          Victim in what category?
Owlman watching from the press box?
          To whom does it apply?
          Who is excited? Might it be I?

It's a pitcher's battle all the way--a duel--
a catcher's, as, with cruel
    puma paw, Elston Howard lumbers lightly
      back to plate. (His spring
      de-winged a bat swing.)
    They have that killer instinct;
    yet Elston--whose catching
    arm has hurt them all with the bat--
          when questioned, says, unenviously,
    "I'm very satisfied. We won."
          Shorn of the batting crown, says, "We";
          robbed by a technicality.

When three players on a side play three positions
and modify conditions,
    the massive run need not be everything.
      "Going, going . . . " Is
      it? Roger Maris
    has it, running fast. You will
    never see a finer catch. Well . . .
    "Mickey, leaping like the devil"--why
          gild it, although deer sounds better--
snares what was speeding towards its treetop nest,
          one-handing the souvenir-to-be
          meant to be caught by you or me.

Assign Yogi Berra to Cape Canaveral;
he could handle any missile.
    He is no feather. "Strike! . . . Strike two!"
      Fouled back. A blur.
      It's gone. You would infer
    that the bat had eyes.
    He put the wood to that one.
Praised, Skowron says, "Thanks, Mel.
    I think I helped a little bit."
          All business, each, and modesty.
       Blanchard, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer.
          In that galaxy of nine, say which
          won the pennant? Each. It was he.

Those two magnificent saves from the knee-throws
by Boyer, finesses in twos--
    like Whitey's three kinds of pitch and pre-
      with pick-off psychosis.
    Pitching is a large subject.
    Your arm, too true at first, can learn to
    catch your corners--even trouble
          Mickey Mantle. ("Grazed a Yankee!
My baby pitcher, Montejo!"
          With some pedagogy,
          you'll be tough, premature prodigy.)

They crowd him and curve him and aim for the knees. Trying
indeed! The secret implying:
    "I can stand here, bat held steady."
      One may suit him;
       none has hit him.
    Imponderables smite him.
    Muscle kinks, infections, spike wounds
    require food, rest, respite from ruffians. (Drat it!
          Celebrity costs privacy!)
Cow's milk, "tiger's milk," soy milk, carrot juice,
          brewer's yeast (high-potency--
          concentrates presage victory

sped by Luis Arroyo, Hector Lopez--
deadly in a pinch. And "Yes,
    it's work; I want you to bear down,
      but enjoy it
      while you're doing it."
    Mr. Houk and Mr. Sain,
    if you have a rummage sale,
    don't sell Roland Sheldon or Tom Tresh.
          Studded with stars in belt and crown,
the Stadium is an adastrium.
          O flashing Orion,
          your stars are muscled like the lion.


Friday Five:
1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?

I haven't had a .sig in ages but when I last did, it was a line stolen from which I now have on an icon: "The First Amendment. It's not just a good idea, it's the law."
2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?
I didn't have a quote. I don't think my yearbook had any of that sort of who are you, what do you want to be when you grow up stuff.
3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?
I have Save the Bay plates but no slogan; if I did, it would be "KROYKAH" which is Vulcan for "stop."
4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?
I have dog tags with Kathryn Janeway's name on them and several baby gifts with messages for the parents and child.
5. What would you like your epitaph to be?
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded by a sleep.

1. Name a slashy movie that I should see. This does NOT have to be a chartbuster, something you'd like to promote.
Kiss of the Spider Woman. It's not so much slashy as overtly gay, but it's never been out on DVD and I keep discovering that few people more than five years younger than me have seen it, despite William Hurt having won an Oscar for it. Get ahold of it and see it,
2. Name a slashy television show that you think other fen need to know about.
The Dead Zone.
3. Name a fic that particularly appeals to you and that you think other fen should know about.
Every damn word of 's Master and Commander fic, especially "Five Things That Never Happened..." Yeah, I know I just pimped that here, but I cannot stress highly enough how good this is. I have printed out perhaps four stories in the past three years, saving the rest to disc, but I made my husband print out this massive undertaking at work because if my CDs melted I could not bear to be without it.
4. Name an author that you really like and would like to promote.
, though I am sure all the Araboro fans reading this know her already; she's just a wonderful writer. Also , who keeps pushing my Remus/Sirius buttons even though I keep almost forgetting about HP fandom. There doesn't seem to be a lot of crossover on my Flist among the LOTR, HP and M&C people which is too bad.
5. Name a zine or website that has really good fic in it.
Ah, what the hell, one for old time's sake: The JetC Index. Some good, some bad, some appallingly awful, but I spent many, many happy hours here, once upon a time.

pointed out this list of upcoming LOTR action figures. Faramir with slashing action! Super-poseable Aragorn and Boromir! I know what will be happening on my shelves!

And from my lunch date, -- was also supposed to be my lunch date but she is under the weather, so everyone send her vibes -- I tried four versions of my name and they all wanted me in Gryffindor even though I am always a Ravenclaw:

Your Years at Hogwarts by nevermindless
The Sorting Hat places you in: Gryffindor (Red and Gold)
Subject you are naturally best at: Charms
Your favorite book: One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by: Phyllida Spore
Pet you bring to school: White-fronted Scops Owl
You are most known for: Actually getting Prof. Binn's to remember your name.
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Poem for Thursday

A small fragment, with an offsite link to a glorious illustrated version:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

THERE passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist:
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could not laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!


Here is the full poem at the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center. Don't miss the illustrations. I even made one into an icon. Speaking of which...

Now I have an Amelia Earhart icon, too. Am I missing anything? Good, because I need to go write up the Enterprise trailer! 11 a.m. already and no hate mail, my review must have been boring. West Wing kind of bored me so maybe that rubbed off while I was writing; for some reason it's not holding my interest much this season even when it's good. And I can't watch Smallville until tonight -- drat! *skips lots of Flist entries*

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Poem for Wednesday

Ye Mariners of England
By Thomas Campbell

Ye Mariners of England
That guard our native seas,
Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze--
Our glorious standard launch again
To match another foe!
And sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow,--
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

The spirits of your fathers
Shall start from every wave!
For the deck it was their field of fame,
And Ocean was their grave.
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
Your manly hearts shall glow,
As ye sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow,--
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o'er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.
With thunders from her native oak
She quells the floods below,
As they roar on the shore
When the stormy winds do blow,--
When the battle rages loud and long
And the stormy winds do blow.

The meteor flag of England
Shall yet terrific burn,
Till danger's troubled night depart
And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean warriors!
Our song and feast shall flow
To the fame of your name,
When the storm has ceased to blow,--
When the fiery fight is heard no more,
And the storm has ceased to blow.


Pimp of the morning, and it's not LOTR: Keiko's "Prizes Over Discovery" series. Long complicated detailed passionate Aubrey/Maturin that just makes me so terribly happy. Put me in the mood for the above.

Icon by which made me giggle because I love Kermit the Frog and this song was a touchstone of sorts for me in elementary school when I suffered through nicknames like The Jolly Green Midget (I did always get bonus points for my last name during the school St. Patrick's Day count of who had the most green on, however).

I was admiring the icon last night and noted that I couldn't take it as I was out of space for new icons at the moment -- ironically, this was never a problem when the limit was ten and I had many, many Lord of the Rings couples to cycle through, but somehow I have acquired too many fandoms in the interim and no way was I getting rid of any of my spiffy new Master and Commander icons.

So the wonderful gifted me with extra icons! I feel rather embarrassed as a few months ago I was scoffing at people who actually needed fifty icons, and indeed I can't imagine that I actually need more than, oh, thirty-five or so. Yet I am delighted to have them and have already uploaded a whole bunch of my older ones. I suppose I should have a Janeway up there, huh? *smooches Cara* And I want a Peter Pan icon with fairies!

Question: Anyone here with a Palm: can you recommend me a good program for reading and writing longer documents than the text reader that comes with the Palm Zire 71, which has a very limited word count?

Was supposed to have lunch with after crises prevented us from doing it yesterday, but work has exploded (first new Enterprise in weeks and finally has updated their episode info, meaning that we can update ours at TrekToday), so I must go call her and beg her forgiveness and see if we can do it next week, if she is still speaking to me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Poem for Tuesday

From Idylls of the King
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Far other was the song that once I heard
By this huge oak, sung nearly where we sit:
For here we met, some ten or twelve of us,
To chase a creature that was current then
In these wild woods, the hart with golden horns.
It was the time when first the question rose
About the founding of a Table Round,
That was to be, for love of God and men
And noble deeds, the flower of all the world.
And each incited each to noble deeds.
And while we waited, one, the youngest of us,
We could not keep him silent, out he flashed,
And into such a song, such fire for fame,
Such trumpet-glowings in it, coming down
To such a stern and iron-clashing close,
That when he stopt we longed to hurl together,
And should have done it; but the beauteous beast
Scared by the noise upstarted at our feet,
And like a silver shadow slipt away
Through the dim land; and all day long we rode
Through the dim land against a rushing wind,
That glorious roundel echoing in our ears,
And chased the flashes of his golden horns
Till they vanished by the fairy well
That laughs at iron--as our warriors did--
Where children cast their pins and nails, and cry,
"Laugh, little well!" but touch it with a sword,
It buzzes fiercely round the point; and there
We lost him: such a noble song was that.


Pimping: "Between the Lines", sweet PG Legolas/Gimli by who is listening to Russell Crowe and Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts whether she will admit it in her "current music" or not!

Also, GIP, because says there is no such thing as too many Jack/Stephen icons, and they look so busted. And, in her words, "rumpled. Concerned and rumpled."

Gacked from someone but I forgot to note whom:

THE MAGE-GIFT (10 of 14): Vanyel Ashkevron from Mercedes Lackey's _Magic's Price_
Your SF superpower is: The Mage-Gift
People would do well to stay on your good side, as
you wield magicks great and terrible. Beware
of the Dark Side, for if once you succumb,
forever will it dominate your destiny.
Beings who share your superpower: Vanyel Ashkevron
(The Last Herald-Mage), King Kelson (Deryni
series), Willow Rosenberg (Buffy The Vampire
What Is Your SF Superpower?
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Am supposed to have lunch with the lovely but am having car crises! Must go attend. And oops, I forgot to say happy birthday to Orlando Bloom. Do we think he will be very upset?