Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Angst Technology
On Tuesday, July 31, 2001 at 03:46 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Have you ever had one of those days where there is nothing interesting on the web? You'd go to Fanfiction.net but their database is down. You'd update your site at Elfwood, but that feature is down temporarily. You've checked all your web comics, checked all the webpages you normally go to for updates, and have logged into your email account three times in the past hour. You've even re-read all the stories you could find that you liked the first time. What does that leave you to do?
If you're me, it leaves studying for a "test" that I have to take tommorrow in Power Point and Microsoft Word. Some of you may have noticed that the economy is in a slow down. Why it couldn't have waited one more year so I could have found a job after college, I don't know. I've been searching for two months for a job in my field. Nothing. So I finally broke down and applied for a clerical job at the local University. But in order to prove that I really do know what I said I knew, I have to take a test in Power Point and Microsoft Word.
Wonderful. I graduate from college only to take more tests. I feel like I'm back in class. You know, the one where you haven't been in a while, walk into it, and find out there's a test. So you've got about ten minutes to cram the last three weeks of material into your head. Only you have no idea what the test is going to be like. You don't remember the last test the professor gave. Did you even take that test? What was the professor's name again? Do you even know what class this is?
Imagine that those ten minutes were stretched out over an entire week. You'll get an idea of the way I'm feeling.
And to top it all off, after the tests I get to go through an interview. I'm actually pretty good at interviews. Everything usually goes fine. Except that sometimes people will ask the most random questions. Questions that you know they already have answers they want to hear and you are "magically" suppose to know them. I call them "mystical guess" questions.
An example was posed to me several years ago. "What famous movie star inspires you most?" This is a problem for me. I watch movies, not movie stars. I could care less what goes on in their lives as long as they entertain me. But of course that's not what the interviewer wants to hear. They want to hear about how Christopher Reeve or someone else inspired you. See how pitiful I am. I can only come up with one movie star. And that's the one the interviwer used when I failed to answer his question to his satisfaction.
Something like that is probably going to happen tommorrow. I won't get the job because I can't use Microsoft Word or Power Point or the phone. I'll be tripped up by my lack of movie star knowledge. Or my lack knowledge about Broadway Plays. Or because I don't watch Survivor. What a stupid reason not to get hired.
Someone, somewhere better be laughing.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Sluggy Freelance
On Monday, July 30, 2001 at 12:44 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Sluggy has been doing the absolute funniest parody of the Voltron/Power Rangers genre. Even if you've never read Sluggy before in your life, go read the current arc. Go-Go Gofotron!
You know, I've been apart of quite a few anime fandoms in my life. And I understand that after awhile fandoms evolve fanon. Fanon? It's where something happens so often in fanfics that after awhile people start to believe it actaully happened in the series. I've seen it happen. I understand that it happens.
What I can't understand is the Digimon fandom.
In fanfics, Davis is angsty. Davis is angsty? When is Davis ever angsty? I can't think of a character less likely to be angsty in any series I have ever seen. He can be stupid. He can be clueless. I can even see him secretly being a super genius before I can see him be angsty. My God, the digimon are more likely to be angsty that Davis. Him being Angsty is not humanly possible. Not even my imagination, which specializes in doing the impossible, can concieve of an angsty Davis that's not wildly OOC.
And what is up with the death fics? Davis commiting suicide because of his unrequited love for Ken? I can see Ken killing himself. He's just bad enough to do it. "Look at me. I was the Digimon Emperor. I did all these horrible things. No could ever want me again." And then he kills himself. But Davis? I'm sorry people but the only way Davis is going to jump off a building is if someone throws a candy bar off it.
Let's not even talk about the proliferation of insta-ai fics. What's insta-ai? Instant aishiteru (instant "I love you").
Ken: I'm gay and I love Davis. But he could never love me back. ANGST. ANGST. ANGST.
Davis: I'm gay and I love Ken. But he could never love me back. ANGST. ANGST. ANGST.
Ken: I love you Davis.
Davis: I love you Ken.
SCROG! SCROG! SCROG! SMUT! SMUT! SMUT!
Look! I've just summarized the plot of 80% of the Digimon fanfics out there.
I've also figured out what's wrong with society. It seems that there are a huge number of people out there who think that if someone is jealous and/or lusting after someone else it must be love. Not that you want what's best for the other person. Not that you would die for the other person. Not that you put there thoughts and feelings above your own. Not that you care or treasure or would sacrifice anything to make sure the other person is happy. None of that's love. But if you feel intense selfishness or anger about that person's feelings or want to just jump their bones, you must be in love.
This is really disturbing.
And when did Kari become a bitch? Or Sora for that matter? I swear I must have missed this part of the series. I feel like I'm back in the GW fandom. "I want Duo and Heero to get together. But Relena is in the way. I know, if Relena is a bitch then Heero will have to fall for Duo." Like a skip on a record. "I want Ken/Matt and Davis/Tai to get together. But Kari/Sora is in the way. I know, if Kari/Sora is a bitch then Davis/Tai will have to fall for Ken/Matt."
What!?!? I'm sorry but guys do not become gay because their love interest is a bitch. If that were true, every guy would be gay for at least one week out of every month. It doesn't happen. To think it does is ridiculous.
I like Digimon. I would love to read Digimon fanfiction. But if this is what I'm going to get, I might as well not bother. Please people, watch the series before you attempt to write anything. And for God's sake, do not inflict your own personal problems thinly disguised as a fanfic on other people. No one cares.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go write a Tenchi Muyo fic. I haven't actually seen any of the series. But I'm sure everyone would love to hear how Ryoko is angsting about being out of work and searching for a job as a geologist while her roomate Ayeka, who is a computer programmer by day and a yaoi fangirl by night, tries to find them a pet named Ry-oki.
Not that this has anything to do with my real-life.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Rinkworks
On Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 08:44 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Went to Elizabeth City this weekend to visit friends. I'm tired from the drive. Recycling is good, right? So I'm going to post an old rant of mine that wound up on the Acid Reflux Forum. People seemed to get a kick out of it. Problems with computers and job hunting.
So I went to my local University Campus with a simple goal in mind. Print out a copy of resume, then copy it to some nice looking resume paper. I would print it out at my house. We have a printer, but no printer cable. My roommate assures me that the printer cable is somewhere in the apartment. I haven't seen it in three years. Personally I think one of our dorm rooms ate it back when we were living on campus.
Computer Lab 1: Is being renovated. They're removing asbestos or something equally dangerous. Maybe someone left cafeteria food in their room too long and it mutated. There's no air conditioning, drills and such going on, and plaster everywhere. The computers are covered with plastic garbage bags. I decide to try somehwere else.
Computer Lab 2: This is a much quieter lab. A Mac lab. Get on, review my resume. Fix the typo that I discovered last time I printed the thing out. And of course, I only noticed it after handing it out to about twenty prospective employers and making about ten extra copies. Maybe I can use the copies next time I want to paint instead of newspaper. Okay time to print. There's an error. Fiddle with some stuff. Still and error. Change computers. Still an error. This is ridiculous. Who says Mac's are better than machines with Windows on them? I'll try next lab.
Computer Lab 3: Guess what? Since I'm no longer a student at the University, I'm no longer in my department. Hence, I can't log on to these computers. I only discover this fact after walking completely across campus. Looks like I'll be walking back across campus to...
Computer Lab 4: Ahhhh... the library. Peace and quiet. Except for the three guys sitting at opposite ends of the computer lab doing a project which requires them to shout instructions to each other across the lab. It's called email folks. Sit down at the computer. Crap, Microsoft doesn't work on the computer. Move to the next computer. Same problem. Stupid NT machines. The only operating system more afflicted than Windows. Try the Unix machines. Nope, they don't have the word program I need. Okay try the Macs. Finally bring up my resume. Then I hit the print button.
It's not printing. Why is it not printing? So I walk over to the printer. Seems the printer can't find the huge cable plugged into it and is having a quiet nervous breakdown. I understand its feelings. I hear Bob yell to Jim to put more pictures in the slide show as I walk back to my computer. I spend twenty minutes looking for the command to cancel my print job. Otherwise, the printer will print my resume for all to laugh at and take the money from my very limited print quota. Can't find it. Screw it. I'll just send my resume to another printer to be printed.
Yeah! It's printing! It's printing. NOOOOOOO! It's the size of a postage stamp. Why is my entire resume the size of a postage stamp? I go and check all the settings. Fiddle with them some. Print it again. Same size. Maybe I'll send this copy to the postal service. I give up. Try another lab.
Computer Lab 5: I just want my resume. That's it. Walk into the lab, turn on a computer, bring it up in Word, and hit print. The printer is not printing. Not again. I go over to look at the printer. I swear I can hear it laughing at me as I make my way over. Just as I'm about to read what's wrong with the thing, it whirls, and prints my resume. No streaks. No ink blots. Normal size. Thank God.
But now I have to copy it onto nice resume paper. Which means a walk back across campus to the copy machines. Who designed this campus? Put my card in. Have to put more money on my copy card. Go put money on my copy card, my last dollar bill. Goodbye dollar bill. Put the nice paper in the copy machine and print my cover letter. Okay, looks good. Time to copy my resume. There is a streak. Why is there a streak up the middle of my resume? Try again. a smaller streak but still there. Screw it. The employer will just have to deal with it. I'm hot, tired, and been trying to get my resume to print for three hours.
I'm going home and eating some ice cream.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Katsu Katsu
On Friday, July 27, 2001 at 02:42 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Hmmm... time for me to update my links page. Again. People need to stop moving around. The link was supposed to go to the Nanashi contest for GW, but instead went to Katsu's page. She does excellent GW fics (her other stuff is probably good too, but I haven't read it... yet).
I was going to do another rant about writing. But then life decided to remind me that it's still around and I still have one. So instead I'll rant about yesterday.
Yesterday I went to back the university I recently graduated from. Why? Because they have ethernet while my apartment only has a dial-up connection. My account is still good there for another month or so. I hope. Anyways, I was in the computer lab minding my own business when this guy decided to sit a couple of computers down from me. The problem? His cologne formed a physical barrier around him repelling all who got to close.
It was supposed to be a masculine scent. You know, one of those colognes that inspires the commercials of skiing and woods and mountains and some cute snow bunny waiting back at the lodge who, having just screwed all 12 ski instructors, is looking for her next conquest. It was supposed to be remeniscent of wood smoke and leather and crisp coldness and manliness. What it wound up smelling like was burnt potatoes and wet dog.
Needless to say, I was not thrilled by this. But you can't just go up to someone and say "Excuse, you really reek. Can you move?" And since three people had already abandoned ship for less smelly environments, I didn't want to leave. It would have been too obvious. Besides, I liked my computer. I was logged in. Everything worked. And I was logged in. Since it takes about five minutes for these computers to realize that "Hey, this person want to get on" I was not giving up my seat.
So I gritted my teeth, and sat there. Looking at my ML's, reading fanfiction, and studying for a test I have to take in MS Word in order to be employed. The smell got worse. It stagnated. Eventually it crept up my nose, sat in my brain, and began to drive a ten inch railroad spike through my head. Of course, I was to stubborn to realize I was getting a migraine. No I convinced myself it was just a little headache. It wasn't until the words on the screen started blurring in and out that I became convinced something was wrong. It was time to abandon ship and go find my ride back home.
So I walked to where my roommate worked at about 4:00. She wasn't in her office. I left a note and went to see if her car was still in the parking lot. It wasn't. So I decided to ride the bus home.
Now if I had actually been thinking, I would have gone and checked my email. Then I would have found out my roommate was coming back and was just late. But pain and I do not get along well. All I could think about was painkillers, a dark room, and a bed. So I waited for the bus, and got on.
Some people should not be allowed to ride the bus. These include anyone who thinks it is okay to yell from one end of the bus to their friends at the other end. Get up and move people. Then there was one guy with a chair cover of wooden beads. The kind you sit on when you drive in order to massage your back. Only he didn't sit on it. But he did proceed to throw it around repeatedly, creating a wonderful ear splitting clacking sound.
Then the bus driver missed my stop, and I had to walk an extra thirty feet to my apartment. This may not sound like much, but when you can distinguish every step by the seperate stab of pain it drives into your head, it matters.
I got to my apartment. Took some aspirin and I listened to the messages to see if I could track my roommate down. Nothing. So I paged her to let her know I was at home. Then I somehow managed to send out an email. I don't even know if it was readable. Pain and writing do not mix. Since I expected my roommate to call, I grabbed my portable phone and set it next to the bed. Then it was nice dark oblivion.
Only sleep can get rid of my migraine headaches. So why it is that everyone wants to talk with me when I all I want to do is sleep? My roommate called. She got some pitiful sounding, slurred message. Three more people called. I know that. But I have no idea if I was even coherent to them. They eventually hung up so I could go back to sleep.
About 8:30, my friend Casey called. Woke me, but it was okay. The headache had retreated to a vague throb that only happened if I moved my head to fast. Managed to mumble something to her. I was hungry when I woke. I always am after a migraine. My roommate was nice enough to take me to get something to eat. I was in no condition to drive. I'm sure the way I sounded before my nap she thought I was dying or something.
So now I'm okay. Feeling find. Migraine a thing of the past. But next time some guy comes near me smelling of Ode de Toliet, I'm going to tell him to go take a bath.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Elfwood
On Thursday, July 26, 2001 at 09:05 a.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Elfwood is back up. YEAH! All my pictureas are still intact. Double YEAH! My luck with computers and files has not been the best lately. The search engine is down. BOO! HISS! I can't find anything I want to look at.
We've been discussing how to write on the Vsfic mailing list. It started with a live journal entry by Alanna about how to write and edit your work. It's the July 25th entry. Basically, she said when you write just put the words down and let it go. Then come back in a few days and edit it. She had a very nice formula for it. Some good advice as well.
The reason for this post came when someone else on the list mentioned that she gets asked how to start writing. She had no idea how to respond. I know exactly how to start writing. It takes practice. It takes courage. Above all else, it takes time. Not just time to put the words down on the page (though that does take up a lot of my time), but time to listen to the story and discover how it wants to be written.
People will tell you that every author is different. I'll be the first to tell you that every story is different. People talk about developing your own style? Forget that. Throw it out the window. You're own style is how you naturally write. Writers don't need to work on that. It will develop as you do. What you need to do is figure out to how to listen to your stories.
Does it want to be written in first person? Or third? Does the story seem to be leaning towards more dialogue? More imagery? Is the tone light or dark, complicated or simple? At no time should you ask yourself what's the best way to write the story to tell what's going to happen. That's not your problem. The story knows how it wants to be written. Your job is simply to figure out how to tell what's going to happen in the style it wants.
I can always tell when I'm fighting with a story. The words are in my head, my hands are on the keyboard, and nothing is happening. Because I don't want to write a piece of fluff, and that's what the story wants to be. There is nothing more frustrating then having words in your head and not being able to put them down on paper.
The easiest ones are those where the characters are real people. Ones where one character comes to me, sits down with me, and tells their story. They talk I listen. Then when it's all said and done, I try to remember what happened and write it down. Sometimes they return to show me, when I've forgotten something or didn't get it quite right. Then I'm there, with them, feeling what they feel and experiencing what they went through.
ANI was like that. I wrote the first part when trying to write a Fushigi Yuugi fanfic. Finished the first part, almost deleted it, then kept it. That night Joi came to me, sat me down in the Imperial garden, and we talked. And talked. When it was through, I had I've come to think of as the first book of Ani. Given the emotional turmoil the first one has put me through, who knows what the second book will be like. I've met a few of the people involved already.
Now I just have to see how the story wants to be written.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Seishi Ai
On Wednesday, July 25, 2001 at 02:17 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
They nice, wonderful, patient webmistress of Seishi-ai has so nicely archived the "One of Those Days" fanfic Miome and I wrote. And since she is on geocities, she's sorta related to the topic of my rant. Kinda.
I am fascinated by site statistics. It's this neat, nifty feature that Yahoo! introduced when it acquired Geocities. It allows you to see how many people visit your page, when they visit, what browser they are using, what screen resolution they have, and what link they clicked on to get to your site.
I have a love/hate relationship with my site statistics. I love seeing how many people came to my site that day. I swear, I check the stats at least three times a week (more if I'm really bored). The numbers keep going up. I keep giggling like a school girl. People are actually visiting my site. They're looking around. They're clicking links. I'm actually interesting. This gives me a heady rush like no other.
At the same time I hate the site stats.People are reading my stuff. Words that I write are flowing through the air and into their brains. Pictures that I draw are being painted line by line in their minds. These people who I've never met are forming opinions about me. They don't even know me. What do they think about me? What about my artwork? My writing? Are people clicking on stories, scanning through a few lines, then leaving in disgust? Do they think that my artwork is crappy? Do they think my stuff is a waste of bandwidth? Do they like it? Do they not? Why aren't they emailing me?
Therein lies the root of the problem. People are coming to my site, but no one is emailing me. Since I started doing massive updates to my site (about once every two weeks instead of once every two months) I have gotten fewer that three emails about my work. I have no comments to clue me in to what people are thinking. No criticisms. Nothing. Just the echoing sound of silence.
I can't really blame people. I don't often email authors myself. There's always excuses. I don't want to bother them. I don't know what to say. They probably get plenty of email anyway. I'm waiting for them to finish before I comment.
The truth is, by emailing someone, you're reaching out to someone else hoping that they won't smack you back. Scares the Hell out of me everytime I do it. Especially since a lot of the good people, the people I want to email, intimidate me. They are good, gifted in a way that I don't think I can ever be. Why would they want to hear from someone like me? Why should they care?
It's one of the reasons why I always email back the people who comment on my work. To reach back and say thank you. To let them know that I value their opinions, want the email, no matter how small. To let them know that I understand that what they're saying is not all they want to say. To let them know that I'm flattered by praise, even though half the time I don't understand why I receive it.
So next time you read or see something that leaves a hollow place in your heart, or fills the hollow place left by someone else, email the person and let them know. Put a name, a voice, something, anything to the countless numbers that turn over on a counter. The people you email are human. They do listen. The only way they could reach you through their work was if they had the same emotions you do.
I should know.