Saturday, September 30, 2006

What if...

I was just listening to Mr. Roboto by Queen and I was struck by how incredibly passionate and melodramatic it is and I started laughing like mad. The only thing that could make it more purple would be if William Shatner sang it. That would be sublime.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More about John M. Ford

I woke up this morning and the first thing I thing I thought was "I had the worst dream about Mike Ford" and then remembered that, while I really did have a dream about him, he really was dead.

When Cullen and I met him at Fiddler's Green we didn't know he was going to be there. This is silly, but I've looked for him at every con we've been to since then. I guess I figured since he was friends with Teresa and Patrick he might show up at Capclave where they were GOH and since he's friends with Neil he might have shown up at Balticon this year.

I suppose in some way I'll always be looking for him, either in person or posting online.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Missing John Mike Ford

When Cullen and I went to Fiddler's Green a couple of years ago we had the immense pleasure of sitting in on a panel about what happens to Gods when they die. Almost everyone else had gone to a panel where Neil and company were making a comic right before the fans' eyes so there were just a few of us in the room. Mike was on the panel and I had the honor of telling him how much we loved him, which seemed to fluster him a little. I was slightly lost and asked what a trope was, and even though that's a terribly basic question, he explained it without making me feel he thought I was stupid.

That was important to me because Mike frequently made me feel stupid, not because I am, or even think of myself that way very often, but because he was such a genius and so good at everything. He was an amazing poet, writer, shoot, he seemed to be good at everything, including charming Cullen, who was still incredibly shy when we went to Fiddler's Green. Cullen never spoke to Neil all weekend, despite interacting with him several times, he mostly bowed and smiled a lot, but he walked right up to Mike to tell him he had great eyebrows.

This morning when I logged into Making Light and saw that Mike had died I felt like the world I was on crashed and veered off course, shooting off to the left into a terrible, dark universe where I would never again be impressed, or pleased, or amazed, or delighted, or soothed in quite the same way again, while the real world kept on going carrying Mike away on it.

I've spent most of the day crying and thinking it can't be true. I'm sort of appalled at how bad I feel, I've only ever been this upset once before and that's when Dan died.

Mike, you left us way too soon and I miss you terribly. Godspeed to your next destination; may they appreciate you as much as we did.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Neuroprotection - does that sound creepy?

Check this out:

5.4 Market size
The neuroprotection market value is $5.1 billion during 2005 and $11.5 billion by the year 2010 when it will constitute a major and important component of the CNS market currently valued at $24.4 billion. By that time, neuroprotection will be an established part of the neurological practice and measures will be available to achieve this effectively.

Cullen and I think it sounds like some guy is going to smack you in the head with a club if you don't pay your neuroprotection money.

I found this page while googling "confidential not for distribution."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bad combinations

Cullen is watching the game show network, or something that should be the game show network, while I write my column and I'm only catching bits and pieces, just enough to confuse me.

So far I decided that William Shatner and Regis Philbin should have a celebrity death match, although I suspect the only deaths would be of natural causes.

I saw a commercial for fig Newton minis but I thought it said fig Newton mints, which sound TOTALLY repulsive.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jude Deveraux and fairy tales

I reread Jude Deveraux's Remembrance this weekend, marveling over how much I like Hayden's tirades against the common perceptions of romance readers and writers, and noticed something I don't think caught my eye the first time I read it. Part of the book is Snow White. There is a crazed mother figure who orders two babies burned because she is jealous and they are going to disrupt her life. They end up fleeing in the woods (figuratively, they're carried by a farmer and his wife) and hide out for the next decade and a half then end up back in the bad mother figure's clutches where she proceeds to torture them. There's even poison and an apple that has to be forced out of someone's mouth to bring them back to life.

Today I finished reading Carolina Isle by the same author and there is a bit of business straight from Hansel and Gretel. I love finding stuff like this in books, it makes me feel smart and I can never have too much of that.

I did end up doing that paper, by the way, after I wrote about a thousand words of why I didn't want to. I managed to include Cthulhu and a quote from Will Shetterly, as well as a sort of political conspiracy so it wasn't as dry as it could have been. Will my teacher like it? I don't know.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Best advice ever!

I just saw this in a chat at a gaming site, one member said to the other who was depressed:

Find a hobbit and do it!

Do you think after you do a hobbit they fix you a nice second breakfast? Something to think about...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'm disgusted with my school

The very first assignment for this math class was to read pages and pages of garbage about cheating and how they're going to catch us, torture us, kick us out of school, ruin our lives, etc. as soon we start with our plans to cheat.

Then we had to take a test on this stuff, which I passed with a 100% but it really pissed me off because I don't like a business model that assumes that every single client is a liar, a thief and a cheat.

Now we have to do this incredibly inane and stupid writing assignment where we're supposed to "paraphrase" a chapter in our book and a pamphlet about voting in Ireland and compare and contrast. Of course we're also linked to about a gazillion more words about cheating, plagiarism, etc. and we have to turn in our papers to some sort of program that appears to be a search program that checks to make sure we didn't steal the paper or buy it online.

Once again it is very clear that the school, and our professor by extension, assumes we're all rotten to the core and planning to cheat. Oh thank goodness they will be able to thwart us and put a stop to our disgusting and foul plans.

Of course once we get out of school and into the working world (never mind that just about everyone in the class is already working and/or a parent) they won't be able to make us walk the straight and narrow path and we'll all immediately start cheating our way through our careers.

I don't think I'm going to do this assignment. It sounds too dangerous to me. It's a fine line between what they call plagiarism and what they call paraphrasing. I have too much brain damage and too much short term memory loss to try and walk that line. I'll take the zero.

Mind you I spent an entire week so far trying to write this thing so all that effort is down the drain.

Why in the world do we have to do writing assignments for a math class anyway? We didn't when I took this class four years ago.


This paper appears to be impossible anyway. The teacher says:

Use the information that you found in that article to compare and contrast the voting system of the United States House of Representatives with the Irish Dail. Use the ideas that you have learned in chapters 1 and 2 to enhance your explanations of the differences and similarities.

The article she references is about the election system of the Dail, not the voting system, two totally different things. And three is nothing in our book about the voting system of the US House of Representatives (at least not in chapters one and two). Even if there were the voting system of one government can't really be compared to the election system of another. They're too disparate. It's like comparing chicken farming to cooking a chicken.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Get that math out of my yard!

I'm doing chapter two of my math for poets book, all about weighted voting and how it works. It's weird, there will be these nice descriptions of how things work and why and why the president really doesn't have any more power when he vetoes than does anyone else who is voting on the issue and then all of a sudden there will be some math like this:

[q:W1,W2, ... , Wn]

What the hell? Who put this math in my math?

Anyway, don't expect too many posts from me until I finish this course. I'm supposed to do FIFTEEN hours of math every week. I didn't know I had fifteen hours a week to spare...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Captain Picard, Neil Gaiman, Cameron and I walk into a ruin...

Last night I was trying to do my math homework but mysteriously found myself watching all of lonelygirl15's video instead, wondering if they were made by GMD studios, the brilliant minds behind FreakyLinks, the best website ever created. I got to thinking that the names Bree, Daniel and Cassie made me think of the Columbine shooting so I did a little googling and sure enough they are all names of victims, or near victims and then I saw something that surprised me, given the hype around this shooting, that the tragedy was the second worst school murders in US history.

Second worst? What was that all about? I looked around some more and read about an appalling bombing of a school in Michigan that took place in 1927, called the Bath School Disaster. A stupid, selfish, horrible, criminal farmer killed his wife, burnt up his farm animals, blew up a school and then his car, also killing the school superintendent and a child that had escaped the school after the bombing.

Just reading about it made me sick and dizzy and when I went to sleep I dreamt I was at the school, what was left of it anyway, talking to Captain Picard and Neil Gaiman about how awful it was when Cameron walked into the building to see what he could see. There was one clump of dynamite left and it went off, knocking down one of the remaining walls and trapping Cam.

The entire town came running and started shifting pieces of rubble by hand trying to get him out and Neil told me to talk to Cam via his laptop, using Google Talk, to keep him calm so I did, trying to get him to tell us what he could see and how much air was left, which he did except he kept crying that there wasn't any air at all, and then three ghosts of children killed in the original blast, two girls and a boy, appeared and told me they were going to Cam to calm him down and tell him what it was like for them and it was only as I was telling this to Cam that I realized he would hardly find this assuring and then he came into my room to use the phone and woke me up and I don't know what eventually happened there in dreamland.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Goats for the poor

Here's an interesting article from the Guardian about how well giving goats to poor farmers in third world countries is working out. It sounds pretty balanced, listing both successes and failures.