Archive for December, 2003

fwoppy solved!

As the day passed I gathered more information on the elusive Floppy. Besides being yellow, not alive, not a banana, and of indeterminate size… I learned that Minnie really wants the floppy and that we have to find it!

Realized suddenly that it must be in the Hamtaro videotape we just got from the library! Yesss! Anyway, it is a floppy disk that the hamster owner lost. The hamsters get it back. Whew, now I know.

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inspiration

After spending several days doing nothing but reading the ultimate marysue novels and the Potter Sue of the Day archives, I charge, grim, fell, helmeted, and violet-eyed, up the hill of terrible parodies.

I feel inspired to go dig up my Ayla-invents-quantum-mechanics “Lost Chapter from Valley of the Horses” thingamabob.

The “Half-Elf girl with firelizards who goes to Hogwarts” tempts me, but seems too easy. Now, _Ayla_ at Hogwarts, that would be hilarious. Molly from Neuromancer goes to Hogwarts… Joan of Arc goes to Hogwarts… heh… The possibilities are endless. Please suggest more terrifying combinations. I should write one for Jo’s daughter with a teenage version of herself in it.

By the way, the Immortals series is not so good. Daine is boring the crap out of me as is the “I accidentally mind melded with Elric” yawn-inducing pages and pages of Chaos vs. Other Gods and swirly flowing lights. Meeting the platypus god was amusing for about a minute. Protector of the Small is still by far the best series.

Actually. Speaking of Moorcock. How about sending Elric to Hogwarts as the D.A.D.A. teacher.

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fwoppy?

I can’t figure out what “you have to face that floppy!” means. Possibly “Fwoppy”? It actually sounds hyphenated, or like Japanese: Fwo-pi, with equal accents on the 2 syllables. Every time Moomin asks me if I want to do it, I crack up. It’s been a couple of hours.

It’s not big, middle-sized, or small.
It’s not good to eat.
It’s yellow.
Whatever it is, you face it.

What the hell is it? Help me out here!

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2nd time around

The second time seeing Return of the King: the good parts got gooder and the bad parts got badder.

Badness:

* The Phial of Galadriel is not an oversized, poncy perfume bottle. Frodo wears it around his neck, for fuck’s sake.
* Hobbits with mouths open, especially Merry and Pippin. As if they were about to cross over into the world of the horrible child actors in the Harry Potter movies. How is it through shooting three movies that no one ever told them to close their mouths once in a while?
* Hobbits gazing at each other.
* Hobbits gazing at each other like that and then not kissing. Just get on with it okay?
* Frodo being all wrong. Three modes: 1) about to hurl. 2) psychotic. 3) about to hurl AND psychotic. Where is the ethereal wise elfiness that pervades him as he gets thinner and wraithier? He’s a fucking elf-friend. He should be yelping A Elbereth Gilthoniel a bit more.
* Denethor chewing.
* Denethor dying the totally wrong way. I have re-edited the movie in my own mind to put in the proper death scene with hands withering horribly around the Palantir.
* Denethor doing anything. He is supposed to be proud and kingly and austere and wise and noble and despairing from having been looking in the Palantir at Sauron too much. Grrr.
* Gandalf losing hope just to give Aragorn a big speech using the word “Hope” in it to bludgeon us yet again with the whole “Estel=Hope” thing.
* Flaming blobs of lava flying through the air very, very slowly, as if they were high up like jet planes, or meteors with parachutes.
* Merry and Pippin having no dignity. Pippin instead of nobly swearing allegiance just being bad comic relief.
* It not being clear that Faramir has some connection with Mithrandir.
* When Gandalf rides out of Minas Tirith to shine his really strong flashlight on the Nazgul, why did he bring Pippin with him? Why, why, why?
* Merry’s arm being fucked up by the Witch King of Angmar, but then suddenly just okay again and he is riding off to battle to the gates of Mordor with everyone else. Unlike in the book no time has elapsed, which is fine, but then how did his arm get better?
* They fucked with Theoden’s death speech and there was no reason to.
* Aragorn being all stupidly surprised at seeing Arwen.
* The cheesy, new-agey, “Let go!” or “Hold on!” speeches.

Goodness:

* The Riders of Rohan massing up on the hillside with the dawn behind them, and the fairly accurate exhoration and the spear clashing and most of all the marvelous charge that makes you suddenly realize everything about cavalry battles. I thought of Winston Churchill writing about the charge at the Battle of Omdurman and was rather excited. That the guy actually yelled “Forth Eorlingas!” Oh yeah! Swept away by the fervor of battle, I burst into tears, squared my shoulders, and mentally urged my horse to thunder dramatically over some orcs while I grimly stare out from my helmet, a little cross eyed from the nosepiece of my helm, sweeping around with my sword and screaming “DEAAAAAAATH!”
* Gondor looking just exactly as I had always imagined it.
* Any of the battle scenes or the scenes with a zillion guys and/or horses massed up for battle. Oh yeah.
* The way they painted the Mumakil’s sides with cool war designs, and the chains between their tusks.
* The weird Celticness of the entryway to the Path of the Dead.
* Any time that an important speech was put in correctly. If Frodo had not said “Here at the end of all things” to Sam, I was going to have to go and assassinate someone. Thank god they made him say it – I don’t want to go to jail.
* Arwen’s damn cool green dress and green shiny beaded tiara/veil.
* The flags and banners and Minas Tirith armor being RIGHT.

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useless

I am useless to the world until I finish reading these damn Tamora Pierce novels. Oh man. It’s more Menolly-ish than Menolly. It’s the perfect junk food for my brain.

***
The Alanna ones are not as good as the Protector of the Small ones.

***

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Arrr, matey!

It took T. several hours to put the pirate ship together for Moomin. I had started it but he took over most competently. The thing has RIGGING, for fuck’s sake. I put most of the horrible little Bits, like the cannonballs and the… the other thingies… 1/4 inch itty bitty bits… evil bits… away in a box.

The wooden castle with knights and warhorses and flags and a king was a big hit. As was the etch a sketch.

Moomin now knows the word “portcullis.”

I love my giant furry mukluks. I am ready to ride out bareback on my horse and invent fire, the travois, and every kind of herb tea. I will also butcher an entire woolly mammoth with a pointy rock.

Just finished a deadly Tamora Pierce novel. Someone told me about these long ago, but I shied from the idea of the self-indulgent marysueness of it all. However, I was wrong. Oh, the vile goodness. Everyone loves the knight chick (it was book 3 from the 2nd series). Her horse was abused by evil men and will allow only her to touch it. She has her own flock of magically intelligent SPARROWS and a one-eyed (or was it 3 legged? or both?) sentient hound dog. She’s good at everything, stoic, muscley, is a brilliant jouster… at a party she notices the prince and his bride to be are too shy to get to know each other and she helpfully gets everyone to talk about things so interesting that the prince and princess forget their shyness and fall in love. If she had the opportunity to invent the travois I’m sure she would have done it. Even her sexist harsh conservative unfair teacher knight guy has to admit she is right about 800 times. All other evil sexist men are eventually shown up and die horrible deaths while stark raving mad. Meanwhile she also becomes flushed and tingly every time a cute knight comes by, begins making out all over the place with her new boyfriend, and goes to get magical birth control. Hurrah! Brilliant!

The mary-sue-boyfriend smells strongly of redshirt. Clearly he will die in the 4th book. He had better.

Rook is deep into Autumn Term. “Not the knife with 16 blades! Nooo!” Hah. 5 minutes later: “!!! They’re going to be in the Third Remove aren’t they! Holy shit!” He’s mocking it but clearly likes it. I think he felt a romantic thrill at the packet of mechanical pencils that I gave him. Minnie liked her bowling shirt and I think best loved the purple kangaroo shoes her friend G. sent. She is the biggest shoe whore! People took turns playing some video game on T.’s phone that looks very addictive. I think a classic arcade game of some kind. It was then installed on every laptop.

Dinner came out great. I highly recommend the whole brine thing for turkey-cooking. It came right out of Joy of Cooking and was probably the best turkey I’ve had, probably because it was really salty, and there was lots of gravy, and the potatoes were fluffy, and this year everyone ate my random chemistry experiment orange-lemon-cranberry-clove sauce. I have no idea what I did differently this time. In fact I forgot it on the stove a bunch of times, and the orange was not a nice sweet orange but a sort of old sour one that had been sitting around for god knows how long.

We lounged. We read. We ate. We played with toys and took turns paying attention to Moomin. He liked the books though I think it was my aunt who sent him totally babyish books. He is way beyond board books. Bill Peet, Syd Hoff, and Helen Lester are the right speed. The etch a sketch has a hard hold on him. Video games loom darkly in his future, though he knows it not.

The house offer is likely to go through! OMG.

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xmas!

merry christmas everybody!

There are TOO MANY PRESENTS. The wooden castle is set up in the living room with knights parading on horses and giraffes and zebras and unicorns.

My thumb has a blister from pushing pennies into those blue penny-collecting books.

Minnie is going to die when she sees the thing I found for her in the thrift store.

Rook pretends not to know that for the 5th year running I have gotten him a packet of cheap mechanical pencils from the drugstore, and some books that actually I want to read myself. Sucker!

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future

McCoot talked about me helping him make a book. I was suggesting that his CS theory stuff, all the 90% finished papers that seem so strange and brilliant, well, that if he had a decent editor who would make him finish then he would have several books. It seems sad to me that he has all these articles and no books. There is a whole textbook – at least one and I think more.

His family seems odd. I notice a lot of collaborations with his wife from years ago, but none lately. I wonder if they lead separate lives? And he seems vaguely depressed about his son who gets up at 2pm every day to play video games and watch anime all day locked in his room – otaku. What is he projecting onto me, I would like to know and can pretty much guess? Smart with a lot of energy and will kick him in the ass to make him write. Well, I could do that but I am wondering if I should. I like my own thoughts and school is making me a little tired of focusing on the thoughts of other people.

Also, while I enjoy the wild brilliant idea-leaping of his futuristic speculations, I don’t want to sanction any unsavory neocon weirdness about ugenicseay, or aceray asedbay intelligenceay. I am happy to speculate like arryLay ivenNay about birth lotteries and gladitorial combats necessary to have one’s second or third child or tax deductions for the intelligent if they have a child but it gets very uncomfortable very fast. I genuinely like him and do respect anyone who will think and argue with no holds barred. But… tolerating the neocon thing at a high level of intellectual intimacy… for what? 20 bucks an hour? Tenative friendship? Riding on association with fame? Hrmmm.

I do like my idea of hooking him up with someone from enSFApay who would be able to devote more time to editing and would really know how to do it.

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house buying fever

House-buying things proceed apace. We looked and we liked. It is not my dream house… yet… I could grow to love it… I’m wondering if a room could be added or a garage built and eventually converted to a real room. it will depend on the footprint of existing houses and lot size.

The Pilot and the Acrobat liked the back and I liked the front. Rook seemed neutral. “At first I thought cramped, then I thought cosy,” he says, envisioning a world in which I do not come home with my truck full of crap and old bookshelves that I’ve picked up from next to dumpsters and then dump it in the (now possibly non-existant) garage. Certainly, having more space has never made me become more organized.

Splitting 725K between the four of us seems much better than 550K between me and Rook (really just rook since I am earning crap and might get pregnant again). I think we were eyeing each other picturing the “oh, can I drop off little Moomin/Nonamy with you for a hour…” situation. I would have to have clear boundaries laid down for such things as I have no normally occurring boundaries (laundry hours, etc. for the common space, do not wander into my house and drink up the last of my cranberry juice). I think the Acrobat has no boundaries either. The Pilot does. I would fear offending her in some way and not knowing it till 6 months later so I would really have find out her Rules and follow them… We would make up some House Rules… It would be like in Cheaper by the Dozen, where if you break a rule you have to put a quarter in a jar. Except a worse fine to be used for parties, or the hot tub building, or something.

There are no termites. It might be all legal construction. The roof doesn’t seem to leak. The carpets are crappy but who cares. There is no dining room. I liked the little deck and the front yard. There are 2 bathrooms and almost no closets. the neighborhood is mostly rental, and about 60% spanish speaking which is okay by me. I wonder if the water heater is shared…

I can’t decide whether one would call it the Maze or the Labyrinth. We would be labrynthians or mazians? Davee suggests “Geekibbutz”. Geeky Butts?

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a funny thought on libraries

While reading those Henning Mankel swedish mysteries (which were great) I noticed a funny thing. At several points the police really needed to find something out but the computer would be down or they would be unable to contact the necessary expert. I kept wondering, “Why do they not just call the public library? They have reference books specially on that subject…”

And then in the Venice books, which I read because I will read nearly any mystery though they were unspeakably badly written and the characters were grody, and it was smugly and stupidly sexist to the max… anyway in those Venice books suddenly the detective guy thinks “crap, I will never be able to find out this information on the illegal dumping of PCBs unless I find a bookstore that’s open or can bribe my way into a university library” and he regrets for a moment that it’s not America where they have public libraries.

So what is up with the Swedish mysteries? Do they not have public libraries there either? Is that possible? Surely not. How very strange. Thanks Ben Franklin…

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