Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today is Fall

The temperature while walking to work was in the mid-40s. The breeze was heavier than gentle. The air smelled fresh. Fall has finally arrived.

Some will get into work later this morning and complain that it's soooooo cold out. I find it refreshing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear CBS,

Please rearrange your Monday night schedule to put How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory back-to-back again.

I tried the new Jenna Elfman show, I really did, but it's not good. And I like Jenna Elfman, but she's one of the two good things about it and let me tell you the other good thing isn't the plot, the writing, the "comedy," the male lead, or anything else that'd make me want to stick around.

Also, I've never like Two and a Half Men. Many others do, but I don't.

So, please, move How I Met Your Mother to nine or The Big Bang Theory to 8:30 and make my Monday night viewing more pleasurable.



Monday, September 28, 2009

Very Tired

Totally pooped and it's just the first day of the work week.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Another God damned post about fan ficiton!?

Yeah, but this one's about me, too.

To say that I've been reading a lot of fan fiction recently is like saying that people breathe. I've been through lots of bad stuff and found a few pretty good things, but I've read way more than some may want to believe.

As I read a question crept into my mind: Why haven't I been writing fan fiction? I've been reading it off and on since 1997, why haven't I created my own? I sit and think "what if?" about nearly everything I enjoy. I wonder about the life of characters after then end or at an age that the original never went to and I think up arcs and stories, why haven't I ever put them down in writing?

(Okay, so technically, I have. There's that Voyager thing I did and a short Sliders story (Both of which need some massive editing. Like and embarrassing amount of editing.), but I haven't done any regular fan fiction writing, ever.)

In the beginning I think it was because I saw fan fiction as a fun diversion. I was in school and busy with my school work and what not. It was there for me to read and enjoy, but it wasn't something that I wanted to create myself.

When school ended I kept reading, but I had delusions of being a "real" writer. Of writing short stories and novels and having them published on paper that people paid money for. Of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people enjoying a tale spun from my thoughts. I didn't write anything much beyond a paragraph, though. Eventually, I knew I wouldn't do anything more than that and did my best to stop thinking.

Still the hope was there and I started that Fiction Friday experiment. I think there's some strong stuff in there. Good ideas and plenty of okay writing. (Also, poor editing, but that's only because I'd post 'em right after I wrote 'em. So, really, that's a different problem. Procrastination.) If wishes were ponies, I'd still be posting those on a regular basis an have more than two years worth of short stories on here.

The main problem was that I just didn't write. There were, and are, plenty of ideas in my head, but I didn't, and don't, write. I can't say why, but I don't. I guess that just not enough of me wants to.

Ce qui a été, est.

Which, pretty much, brings us up to this latest run in with fan fiction and me still not writing it.

Why not?
  1. It's hard to suppress the belief that fan fiction isn't real writing.
  2. You don't make money from it.
  3. Only a niche group is going to read it.
  4. I want to play in the sandbox, but play with my own toys more than the creator's toys.
  5. Fandom is insanity, even if there are a bunch of decent people.
  6. Copyright infringement.
  7. I'd have to join a community.
  8. I'm better than fan fiction.
It's the last one that really pisses me off, but I'm going to go down that list one at a time:
1. I know this one isn't true, a lot of the stuff is crap, but I've read some stuff by people who can really write. They know how to craft a sentence to support a paragraph to build a story. I even found one today that had writing in the good-to-great range.

It is real writing. There are creative plots and intriguing ideas. The writers may not create the character and too many don't know how to keep the characters in character, but they're still putting one word next to another (except for the ones written in 1337 or txtese) to create an (hopefully) original story.

2. Well, that's true, but really how often to "real" writers make money from their first several short stories. Pretty damn rare for a new writer to get published in The New Yorker.

Plus, if money was made off of fan fiction (aside from the company approved stuff) we'd see the publishers and movie/TV studios and authors come swooping in with their lawyer to crush the folks who write the stuff.

3. Also true, but at least you know that they're there because they like the characters, right?

4. What I mean by this is that I'm far more interested in putting in new characters to explore the universe without ever necessarily going near the original characters.

To better explain, hopefully: How are young wizards, in the Harry Potter-verse, in the USA trained? There are some boarding schools in the USA, but there's very few and very far between. Even the ones that do exist don't really do the whole different-houses-that-compete thing. Would there be one or two or three big schools for wizarding children for the USA or maybe all of North America that all the magical children go to? Or would it be more like a local after school program for those certain special individuals? And how did Voldemort causing trouble in England effect the wizards in the US and Canada?

That's something that I'd be more interested in exploring than what happened to Ron after he ditched Harry and Hermione in Deathly Hallows and then coming back to them or Peter Pettigrew's adventures with the Weasley family or redeeming Draco Malfoy. But is it really a Harry Potter fan fiction if it never mentions Harry Potter?

5. Whatever you write, even if people like it, you won't ever get any constructive criticism, which I think is important for any writer.

Also, once you start writing under any fandom they, or a vocal number of them, think they own the characters and therefore should be able to tell you exactly what you should have done while they call what you, probably, worked hard on a horrible piece of shit.

Oh, sure, fuck 'em, right? It's not that simple, though. As seen by 3, those are the only people who are going to be reading what you wrote. Fan fiction does not expand beyond the small part of the fanbase that reads and writes it.

6. Always a concern. Some of the original creators support fan fiction, some ignore it (or pretend to ignore it), some ask for it to be removed when they find out it's been done. Lots of the properties aren't owned by the original creators, or at least not totally, and who can tell when Viacom or Universal or Warner Bros. or Disney will have their attorneys send out cease and desist letters to the massive fan fiction websites.

7. Once you write it and put it on a fan fiction site, your part of that community. Whether it's a site that's about all fan fiction or a site dedicated to one certain character/show/book/whatever your part of a community and there are certain expectations that I'm uncomfortable with, like conversations with people. Even knowing it's via message board it makes my stomach flop.

8. I'm not. I know I'm not.

To be better than fan fiction I'd at least have to be writing something. I'm not though.

To actually be better than fan fiction I'd have to be published or filmed and have people writing fan fiction based on my stuff.

And it really bugs me that floating around in my brain is that damn thought because at least those guys and girls are writing something creative. I'm not even doing that. I'm just sitting and thinking about ideas. Nothing goes down on paper or takes up bits on the hard drive, nothing. Still, the thought is there.

I feel like I should be wrapping this up, but I don't know how. Will I continue to not write fan fiction? Will I start writing fan fiction? Will I quit the fan fiction thing altogether? I really can't say.

I have ideas. Like the one mentioned above. Hell, I even have ideas for a couple of series of stories for several different fandoms, for lack of a better word. As I wrote earlier, I just don't write. (And, yes, I realize the irony in that sentence.) I don't. I think I should, but... you know.

I Figured It Out

For a long time, at least while the show was on TV, my brothers and I have been trying to figure out the first name of the first officer on the starship Voyager.

His name: Charles "Chuck" O'Tay.

Turns out the guy is Irish. I'm not sure why everyone calls him by his full name, though. Weird crew.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This Week's Obsessive Songs

"Paper Bag," Fiona Apple, from When the Pawn...
I was staring at the sky, just looking for a star
To pray on, or wish on, or something like that
I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew, was a hopeless to be had
But then the dove of hope began its downward slope
And I believed for a moment that my chances
Were approaching to be grabbed
But as it came down near, so did a weary tear
I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag
Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love
And I went crazy again today, looking for a strand to climb
Looking for a little hope
Baby said he couldn't stay, wouldn't put his lips to mine,
And a fail to kiss is a fail to cope
I said, "Honey, I don't feel so good, don't feel justified
Come on put a little love here in my void," he said
"It's all in your head," and I said, "So's everything"
But he didn't get it I thought he was a man
But he was just a little boy
Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love
Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love
"Call and Answer," Barenaked Ladies, from Stunt
I think it's getting to the point
Where I can be myself again
I think it's getting to the point
Where we have almost made amends
I think it's the getting to the point
That is the hardest part.

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you court this disaster
I'll point you home

You think I only think about you
When were both in the same room
You think I'm only here to witness
The remains of love exhumed
You think we're here to play
A game of who loves more than whom

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you court this disaster
I'll point you home

You think it's only fair to do whats
Best for you and you alone
You think it's only fair to do the same
To me when you're not home
I think it's time to make this something that is
More than only fair

So if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you court this disaster
I'll point you home.

But I'm warning you, dont ever do
Those crazy, messed up things that you do
If you ever do
I promise you I'll be the first to crucity you
Now it's time to prove that youve come back
Here to rebuild.





Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Are these offensive?

I ask because a woman at work put an image similar to the last one on her desktop and some think it's inappropriate and at least one is offended by it. But are they offensive and/or inappropriate?

If they are, are they only offensive and/or inappropriate in a work environment or anywhere?

Also, it was all fine until the woman with the picture announced to staff what was going on in the picture because most people in the office had no clue what it was. So, if she hadn't announced it, would the picture still be offensive and/or inappropriate?

I'm probably the only one who cares, but...

There's a Daria fan fiction series called "John Lane". Basically it's a Daria/Jane 'shipping story that decided to dodge the lesbian issue by re-imagining Jane as a guy, who has a much rougher life, and then rewriting most episodes with the new status quo.

Anyway, in the one I'm reading now, based around "Write Where it Hurts," Helen and Jake are concerned about the potential of Daria and John having sex and decide to talk to the two. Helen tells Daria that it's time for The Pill and Jake talks to John. Helen gets concerned that Jake... uh... instability may hurt the talk and goes in to... mediate, which leads to this:
Helen knocked on the door and opened it.

John and Jake's laughter followed the faint "thwap" of something hitting Helen's forehead. John said, "You're right. They do stretch."

Sometimes it's really hard to laugh silently here at work.

The more I think about it...

...the more I realize that if "Come Together" had been written in the past 5 years the more likely it would have been about bukkake.

Not that it would stop my enjoyment of the song.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mixed Up

About two weeks ago, Jazz wrote about how she met her Mr. Jazz. In the comments, one of her regulars said, "We should ask fellow bloggers who wouldn't object to sharing, how they met their significant other and what was it that turned them on."

This morning, Jazz posted a list of stories that other people have written who were inspired by her or inspired by others who were inspired by her, for the most part.

Okay, why am I writing about this here?

I want a story.

Sure, there are a lot of similarities in the tales these people tell (There seem to be two main types: 1. Immediate attraction by the party of the first part. and 2. People were friendly and friendly moved into more than friendly.), but there are all sorts of extra details. There are drawls and concerts and Christmas decorations and aviator jackets and rain and Zeppelin and long queues and boobs and reconnaissance and each of those things are just one little detail out of nine different stories. The uniqueness of the details really makes these sort of stories pop.

So, I want a story. I want weird little details that mean nothing and everything.

I don't want a person, but I'd really like a story. A story that's totally unique to me, but familiar to everyone who's heard or experience a moment of knowing.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More of That Fan Fiction Stuff

For the last few weeks, my fan fiction kick has been the Daria stuff. (I'm not brave/stupid enough to log onto the adult fan fiction sites at work, so it's all safe, and so far nothing is too risqué, since I know y'all are so sensitive about that sort of thing.) (PENIS! VAGINA! VULGAR TERMS FOR BODY PARTS!)

So far, the thing that's surprised me most is how the Trent 'shippers treat their love for putting Daria and Trent together. They seem unwilling to make it simple. There's been a surprising number that don't hook them up until she's out of college and not all of them work out in a "happily ever after" way. Most of the ones who do put them together while she's in school make it fairly clear that it won't be like that forever, that eventually they'll grow apart.

It's like these people actually paid attention to the show and the characters!

Of course, then you occasionally get bits like this:
She thought about it. "Yes. Sleep is good." She stretched, and suddenly remembered that she was naked under her robe, she looked down and realized that she had just flashed Trent. He looked completely discommoded, she didn't really care, she had pretty breasts.
I never thought of Daria as one who really thought about whether or not her breasts were pretty. (Click for the story.) Still, a little of this isn't a horrible thing.

One thing, though, that sort of bothers me is how some of the 'shippers try to make Trent better, or flesh him out. (This author does it a lot.) I never thought Trent was dumb, but I still don't think he's a deep thinker. He's just a guy who wants to do what he enjoys.

Some more at 9:40 AM the next day:
Okay, here's an example of what I was writing about above, but didn't finish because I was eager to leave work. The author above wrote a story from Trent's point of view for the episode "Jane's Addition." For those who don't remember, or know, "Jane's Addition" is the episode where Daria pretty much gets over her crush on Trent. (A much more thorough summary. Transcript.) He's just too --I want to say lazy, but I don't think the guy's lazy, just not overly motivated?-- relaxed (still not the right word, but it's the best I can come up with) for Daria. She makes sure she keeps any commitments she makes. Trent isn't so worried about that.

Anyway, in "Jane's Addition" the crush ends because Daria really gets to know who Trent is. (And the end was coming, as they showed in the episode "Lane Miserables.") They'll stay friends, but that's it.

In the story mentioned above, "Trent's Equation," the author makes it clear that Trent disappointed Daria and ended her crush on him on purpose. Trent thought that the crush was having a bad effect on Daria and decided that it was better for her to be heartbroken for a while than to be entangled with him. The author, in a note at the end of the story, writes, "I believe Trent is actually a more mature character than we actually see on the show, I think his method of expressing his feelings will come across subtlety and peripherally, since he is at an age where he is much more cognizant of relationship consequences than Jane or Daria." But the author also saw Trent developing a crush on Daria when he told her that it's "[t]oo bad [she's] not a few years older [because he] could take [her] out" at the end of "Lane Miserables." Reading it that way changes a lot.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Some Back and Forth

We're short two clerks this week, which is three days long. That means that the people who handle the regular mail are cut in half, so I got this e-mail from SUSM:
I know you haven’t done ADJ mail for a while, what documents would you be most comfortable processing to help out with our staff shortages this week?

Thanks -[SUSM]
Our furlough days are not days off for attorneys and insurance companies, so I wrote back:
Today I have twice my normal Monday mail because San Francisco sent me a huge envelope, so please only give me things that need to be scanned, but not completed.
That seemed reasonable to me. I didn't refuse mail, like I wanted to, and I didn't bring up how when I was up in Oregon no one helped out with my backlog of mail. I just asked for the easy stuff. Maybe I worded it wrong because she wrote:
Everyone is going to get behind this week, we’ll catch up though. So what docs do you want – I’ll just give you a small portion.

Thanks -[SUSM]
My first reaction was "FUCK YOU!" It's no excuse that everyone is going to get behind. My second reaction was why can't she figure out the mail for me? I haven't done the "regular" mail for more than six months now, I don't know what the rules are. All I wanted was stuff that I scanned and checked to make sure it got scanned. I didn't want the ones that required me to keep checking to make sure which judge got assigned and trying to figure out where it goes or what files I have to pull and things like that. I wrote back:
I don’t know exactly what to do with all the docs, but I’d prefer the ones that just get scanned.

I guess that means I’d rather not get any apps or stips or C&Rs or liens.
She wrote:
It will all come back to you – so what, petitions, NORs?
Which I didn't understand the first part when I read it. My response to her:
[SUSM], I’m so confused right now.

I don’t care anymore. Just split the mail how you normally split it and give me a portion. I’ll figure it out as I go along and ask [GICS] and [SHTK] for help.
I didn't ever get a response.

Eventually, I figured out that her last letter meant that I'll figure out what to do with the work as I work on it, but that wasn't ever my concern, I just didn't want stuff that would take away too much time from the DEU mail I have.

She didn't even pass the mail out before she left, so who knows how much she'll give me and if she expects me to drop my regular duties to do the mail she gives me.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ekki Mín Orð

Veistu, ég ætla að deyja. Allir þeir vilja í raun.

Nei deyja þér en amk ég vil ekki að loka mars Ég trúi ekki. Hver veit hvað gerist í lífi, eins og aðrir. South halda þeim líka. Ekki meira en mig. Púff, eða gjaldþrot eða stökk í gang.

Ég bý í mjög stuttan tíma, taka tillit til tvær hvítar, drepa mig

Skipt bílskúr og ÉG gleypti pilla svefn kassi gegn auðvitað Èg hugsa mér. Hreint efni, ég skjal sem heild óreiðu er auðveldara að þrífa, svo að þessi maður (beygja) hreinn.

Ég var að hugsa til þess að kaupa allt að átta sinnum. That fær mig átta sig á því að fólk reynir að gera betur en litun. Þetta er ekki hluti af the mynd er mjög áhugaverð þar sem það er nýtt.

Í öðru lagi, að tala um högg-hlaupa bað í skóginum, þegar ég spurði hér, kannski ef ég er undir öðrum stöðum mínum, og popp tónlist.

Absurd Giggling

Doing the DEU stuff for work sometimes really pisses me off, although it makes me laugh at the same time because of absurdity.

I get to see the job title and the (gross) weekly earnings of these injured workers. This morning I found a person whose title was given as Clerk/Typist and her weekly income is around $1500.

And that's when I giggled in anger/frustration.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Right Before Hyper Death

The storyline starts here, but I just really liked that picture, which is from today's comic.

What it don't get, I can't use.

Okay, I admit it. A large chunk of my overtime will be going to Beatles Rock Band. The set that comes with drums and Paul's Höfner.

I'll get mine sometime next week, depending on when it's shipped.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009