Monthly Archives: December 2003

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In Case You’re Wondering Why I’m So Energetic Today…

…I finally finished my story for the ‘obscure fandoms’ Secret Santa fanfic project, While We Tell of Yuletide Treasure. I realized I was going to find it hard to write my story immediately when the project started early in November, since important stuff was due to happen in the fandom I planned to write about. But for some reason, I didn’t manage to finish my story till today. I went through several ideas, mind you, but I couldn’t get to an actual plot that fit the gift parameters and spirit. I got a particularly good plot idea today, but it wouldn’t have made a good present. (Too angsty, too little romance.) So I dropped the (sorta) innovative and went for the (sorta) tried and true. I’m also sorry that its natural length was rather short. But I loved writing it, so I hope my gift will be accepted — and enjoyed — in the spirit it was given.

I’m also eager to see my present on Christmas morning, of course. *BigEvilGrin, while crossing fingers for a Daniel/Adele romance* I’ll also be interested to see everybody else’s stories on January 1. I love obscure fandoms, and while many of these aren’t all that obscure, I’ll still be interested. A good few of my old favorite writers from X-Files and the like are involved, so l can’t wait to catch up with their doings. (Too bad so many folks seem to have been asking for slash, as this means their presents will not be of much interest to me.)

What disturbs me is how very easy I find writing romance. Personal experience does not seem to be a major factor here; the graceful manipulation of literary tropes is. Too much lyric poetry in my youth is undoubtedly to blame.

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Cain Adomnain and the Rights of Women

Hunh. Cain Adomnain usually gets a bad name in feminist Irish studies, as being the law which disarmed women. To be honest, however, I think it seems to be exactly what it claims: a reform that, overall, improved the status of women. The picture of Irish women formerly fighting with polearms is interesting, too, as Japanese women usually used naginatas and other polearms for castle defense and the like. (Which is not to say there weren’t good Japanese swordswomen, but if you’re shorter, polearms are a great equalizer of reach.) The big advantage is that killing any woman, child or cleric, whatever their legal rank, became a very grave matter. The bad part of the deal is that any woman who kills anyone gets the death penalty, no matter what her rank. Unfortunately, this is exactly what you’d expect of a legal system in which women in general had a lot of rights (especially compared to other legal systems of the time), but not the same rights as men. Read it and see what you think.

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Gadzikowski’s Doctor Who/AbFab Crossover

You gotta love a cartoon with the punchline, “It has been 117 years since my last confession.”

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Regionalisms Poll

I got this through Elizabeth Bear.

WHAT DO YOU CALL:

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks?
A stream or a creek. (“Crick” is old-timey Greenville.)

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store?
A grocery cart.

3. A metal container to carry a meal in?
A lunchbox.

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in?
A frying pan.

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people?
A sofa if it’s the good one in the living room; a couch anywhere else.

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof?
A gutter or a pipe, depending on which part of the assembly we’re talking about.

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening?
A porch.

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages?
Pop!

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup?
A pancake.

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself?
A sub.

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach?
Swimtrunks.

12. Shoes worn for sports?
Gymshoes.

13. Putting a room in order?
Cleaning.

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark?
Lightning bug or firefly. (Lightning bug just sounds friendlier, doesn’t it? Firefly is so formal. If Josh Whedon’s show had been called Lightning Bug, it would’ve had higher ratings!)

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball?
Pillbug! Also, kids called them roly-polies.

16. The children’s playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down? Seesaws are the big ones on playgrounds. Teeter-totters are the little ones you might have at home.

17. How do you eat your pizza?
With my fingers, preferably off a paper towel instead of a plate. And by the way, it should be cut in wedges unless it’s from Marion’s Piazza. Donato’s Pizza is just a cruel, cruel game.

18. What’s it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?
Garage sale!

19. What’s the evening meal?
Dinner usually, but supper sometimes.

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?
The basement. It’s only a cellar if it’s entered from outside the house.

21. The shoes with two straps you wear at the beach?
Sandals, then thongs, and now flip-flops.

22. A machine you can drink water from?
Drinking fountain.

Added:
23. Wash or warsh? Washington or Warshington, D.C.?
Both, of course.

Dayton, Ohio. Where dialects meet, and we steal from ‘em all.

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Airboy’s Catholic Roots

Heh. Little did I know that Airboy, star of Air Fighters comics, flew a plane designed by one of the Franciscan monks that ran the orphanage where he lived. Check out this article for the friar/engineer’s sad fate.

Man, and they think comics today are violent!

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!

Sky Captain looks like it could be the greatest 30’s pulp movie ever. Lessee, we got your Captain Midnight-type steely-eyed aviator Sky Captain. Your daring girl reporter Miss Polly Purebred…er, Perkins. Your Angelina Jolie with an eyepatch mystery lady/flyer. Your giant robots straight out of Superman cartoon shorts. You’ve got skyscrapers in all their silver-gray glory. And you’ve got the Flying Legion. What the heck else could you ask for?!

(Well…Doc Savage, maybe….)

Btw, here’s my list, in no particular order, of the greatest pulp adventure movies ever:

Zorro’s Fighting Legion.
Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Rocketeer.
Buckaroo Banzai. (He’s Doc Savage.)
The Adventures of Jake Speed. (He just uses Doc’s company.)
The Phantom.
Big Trouble in Little China.
Those Superman cartoon shorts.
The Shadow, until the exact moment when the trumpet solo plays.
Batman: The Animated Series.
The Mummy. (The Brendan Fraser version isn’t horror, but pulp adventure.)

You can get more pulp adventure movie names from this discussion. I’d love to see the Hong Kong movies they list.

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My Brother Graduated….

…From the Air National Guard’s Satellite NCO Academy. He got pretty good grades, too.

(The idea is that you attend classes for X-many weeks over satellite TV, with an “audio bridge” so the classes can ask the teachers questions. Then the final two weeks, the NCO school folks go to McGhee Tyson in Knoxville and do more intensive classwork and testing. It’s a lot of work. Kev was one of only a few staff sergeants who got to go; most folks were higher up in rank.)

The graduation ceremony was very nice. It included a POW/MIA ceremony. (I can’t help thinking that whoever composed this ceremony was influenced by the Passover seder. All that bit with the lemon symbolizing the bitterness of captivity and the salt thing, too…not the same, but way reminiscent.)
There was a speech that wasn’t too long by the head chief master sergeant in the Air Force, and the first commandant of the Satellite NCO Academy also visited. He was a Bataan Death March survivor named Paul Lankford. (Here’s more about him.) Kev stayed in a barracks named after him. I also noticed a building named Spruance Hall, which seemed positively bizarre on an Air National Guard base but would have been normal in the Navy. Apparently it must be named after this guy. Busy family, eh?

It was a nice trip. I’m glad I went along. Too bad I don’t have any pictures of the dress I bought to wear to the thing; it was a really good one. I didn’t mean to buy a darkish blue so as not to be too conspicuous in the sea of dress uniforms and mess dress, but it worked out that way…. :) It all looked like an episode of Stargate SG-1 or JAG was about to break out.

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