Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: ZIRC.org
On Tuesday, September 18, 2001 at 03:29 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
The link is for a place that uses java applets to connect to IRC. Very nice since now I can go on #acidreflux. Below is a fragment from a story I've been working on at work. Enjoy!
In the Sands of Thyme
"Long after the final battle is won,
The world is saved, thy enemy gone
Long after all is said and done,
The sand was gritty and malleable beneath her soft-soled boots, and the wind brought with it the scent of fish and sea. Gulls cried high in the air. They seemed to float in front of a backdrop of glorious colors, the vibrant tapestry that was the setting sun. The gulls weren't the only things in the air. Salt picked up from ocean spray clung to strands of white hair. Rhianna knew that if she stayed out here much longer she would break the teeth on her ivory combs trying to get all the knots out.
So very tired.
The path down the rocky cliff face was treacherous only at the worst of times. But even in perfect weather, it was a hard climb down. Rhinna's knees screamed in protest, her joints aching from the moisture in the air. Once she could have climbed up the narrow path without stopping. Now she could barely make it down with out pausing three, four times to catch her breath.
Old and tired. Like an instrument that has been played for far too long.
She sat on a rock, a boulder that had fallen from the cliff face due to the effects of water and time. It was sun warmed. Rhianna gave a grateful sigh, letting the heat seep into her bones and ignoring how uncomfortable the hard surface was. She held her hands in front of her, noticing the swollen joints and gnarled fingers.
My poor hands. Once I was the envy of every minstrel, every bard in the country. There was not a rhythm, or run I could not play. Now I can barely bend my fingers. I haven't been able to give my harp the respect she deserves in over a decade.
All Rhianna could think about these days was how she was tired. A deep, bone weary numbness that sapped her strength faster than spell casting ever had. She could see that she had out lived her usefulness. Not in the way anyone spoke. She was Rhianna of the Song, last of the Six who had saved the world. No one would dare tell her to her face that she was no longer needed.
As always, their actions speak louder than words. I can see it in their eyes, hear it in their whispers. Too old. Too set in her ways. The younger generation, those that crowd around Rolan. They look at me and speak of a time that is long gone and should be left in the past. And Rolan listens.
They have too much power over him. I would fear for the court, but I am too tired to care.
Her harp sat in its case beside her, carried with difficulty down the steep path. The worn leather was tooled with knotted griffons, a mixture of beeswax and mink oil used to keep it waterproof. Rhianna had no idea why she had brought the beautifully inlaid instrument. Her hand had closed around the handle out of habit rather than thought. Which just proved to her how bad off she really was.
I should have retired. I wanted to retire, to take up my wanderings again. Not by foot, I'm too old for that. But I could have paired up with a band of gypsies, played a little for my food and bed. It would have been warm and I would have been content.
But then Aerwin died, and Rolan was so young. There was no way he could have ruled without my guidance. So I stayed, only to be caught up in the politics of court. First one petty dispute then another kept me tied to this place. Now, I am so tired that all I want to do is sleep. Sleep and never wake up.
Rhianna tried to smile at her own morbid thoughts but found she couldn't quite make the corners of her mouth turn up. Even though the sand was still warm from the sunlight the wind that came off the water had a bitter bite to it. For once in her life, Rhianna was glad for the thick velvet skirts and long sleeves that made up most of court fashion. It helped protect her thin frame from the worst of the cold.
Though how Janna would yell if she could see me sitting in the sands in my court dress. How long has been since I thought of her? Elegant Janna with her dark eyes, haughty disdain, and fine jewelry. And her temper. She had such a tongue on her.
The bards all sing about what a fair beauty she was. The jewel in the crown of Six. A gentle lady to be respected and admired. I wish I could take them back, make them stay in the room while she was throwing things in a fit of rage. That would put a stop to their prattling nonsense.
The memories of earlier years were bitter sweet in her mind. Janna had died coughing up blood, wasted away from the inside out. Death by consumption not four years after they had performed the miracle of saving the world. Rhianna ran her fingers over her skirts, remembering a grief so old that it only produced a dull ache.
Janna would love this color, this entire outfit. A wine red so dark, it looks black in everything but the purest of light. Long tight sleeves shot through with embroidery, and edged in fine black lace. Twining silver around my wrists, my neck, in my hair. What would she think if she could see me now?
As suddenly as that, Rhianna realized she was crying. Salty sweet tears that traced the fine wrinkles on her face. She lay her fingers against her cheek and felt the moisture there.
What happened to the wandering minstrel who would just as soon wear men's clothing as women's? What happened to the defiant, beautiful girl that I use to be? Who am I? I thought I knew. Now I'm not so sure.
No. I didn't come down here to feel sorry for myself. I came down here to rest. And to try and remember how this all started and why I'm still needed. To do that I need calm and clarity. My harp. She has always calmed me, has shown me the way more times than I can remember.
The motions she used to brush away her tears were angry, decisive. The motions Rhianna used to remove her harp from its case were gentle and loving. The wood was a pale bird's-eye maple, the carvings were of reclining does, and the strings were of the finest catgut. Those strings hung loose, the tension relieved when she had last put it up.
Did I really think it would be that long before I played her again? Use to be that I almost always kept the strings tight, my harp tuned. Just in case I was ever asked to play. Only when I knew for a fact that I would have to store her did I relieve then tension on her strings. Now after every time I play, I instinctively relax the strings. Because I never know when I'll pick her up again.
My poor beloved harp. I don't deserve you. I never have.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Society for Creative Anachronism
On Monday, September 17, 2001 at 07:31 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
I did not post Friday. Normally I would, then do my usual no-posting during the weekend. But something happened Thursday night which turned me into an emotional wreck for most of Friday. Even when I wasn't crying, I wanted to retreat. To withdraw from the world and have some time to myself. That didn't happen, but from the far end of a pretty good weekend I think I can look back and explain to those around me (and you folks off in www-land) why a) nothing got done this weekend and b) why I was so out of it.
He was always very nice to me.
The SCA (see the link) holds a meeting on campus every Thursday night. I try to attend but I'm not as religious about it as I am about attending Anime. Thursday night I showed up for about ten minutes to say hi to some people, then went with some other people from TAAS, the local anime soceity on NCSU campus, to hang flyers. We were having a Trigun Festival on Saturday. Afterwards we were going to meet back up with the SCA people to eat at Darryl's.
There was about twenty of us in the entry way of Darryl's waiting for them to clear enough tables to seat such a large group. One minute we were all standing. The next minute, Master Aldwin was lying on the floor gulping for breath. I saw him being helped down by two other SCA members. Everyone was standing around, too shocked to move. Some said to call 911. I ran to the bar, froze, ran back to look, then ran to the bar. I yelled for someone to call 911, that we had someone down. The people behind the bar just stared at me as if I'd grown another head. I yelled again. They moved into action picking up the phone and calling.
Meanwhile, my friend Xavier was on his cell phone having already reached 911. The operator was a complete twit. He told her Master Aldwin was breathing. He then repeated that yes, even though he was on the ground, Aldwin was breathing. Then he yelled at her saying "I'm six inches, a foot from his face. He's making gulping noises. Since he's making the noises I assume he's still breathing." Eventually he got tired of talking to the moron operator and handed her off to one of the two trained Emt's that were in our group.
A fire truck and ambulance got there literally within minutes. It seemed like forever. Everyone was standing around. Some people tried to leave the resteraunt, but we told them to go back to their seats. Someone from the resteraunt was helping him. Some people were just staring. I was shaking from shock and adrenaline. All I could think was that I couldn't let myself pass out. My bloodpressure was shot all to hell, but I couldn't take anyone away from Aldwin.
When the Ambulance people got to the resteraunt, I went over to the bar and sat down. Some of the group went with me. Others refused to leave. My hands were shaking as we played the worse waiting game of all. Life or Death.
Some people periodically got up to see what the EMT people were doing. Coward that I was, I stayed seated. I couldn't make myself look. I knew if I looked whatever I saw would be burned into my mind forever. I didn't want to live with that. I wanted to keep my memories clean of that sight.
They were doing CPR on him. Someone mentioned that. One girl sat down beside me and started talking about how her friend was an EMT in training in Virginia. She kept talking about how this was the best place that Aldwin could have had something go wrong with him. With two EMT's, and a firestation half a block away. She must have repeated this information about three times, mentioning her friend. I wanted her to shut up, to leave me alone and quiet with my tension. But I didn't. She needed to tell someone that it would be all right, as much as others needed to hear it would be all right.
Finally, they stabilized him enough to take him to a hospital. People offered to walk me to my car. They did, though all I wanted was to be alone. I was in shock. I was also worried about Xavier. When I got home I asked my roommate to call him. To make sure he was okay. His last words was that Aldwin still had a pulse.
I found out at work the next morning that Master Aldwin had died. He never reagined conciousness after he collasped at the resteraunt. He was gone, and I was there when it happened.
I didn't really know him well. My biggest regret was that I didn't know him well. But I remember little things that others probably have forgotten. Because my memories are made of flashes of times that come together to remind me of the people I've met.
I was there when someone made him a beaded pouch with a pelican on the front. It was set against a background of red and orange beads. There were trees and stars on a field of black on the back. He was so proud of it. I remember how puffy his hair was. How most times he wore SCA shirts to the meetings. How he dropped names whenever he could. His stories. His laughter. How he wore the brightest, gaudiest garb I have ever seen. How people respected him even when he didn't notice.
But above all else, I'll remember that he was always nice to me. There's not many people I've known who always were.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Why did the World Trade Center Towers Collaspe?
On Thursday, September 13, 2001 at 12:19 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
I feel utterly useless. I can't do anything to help the people in New York or Washington and it's driving me nuts. I can't go there and help. I live to far away and I'd probably be more of a nuisance than anything.
I can't give blood. I have blood pressure problems (aka random passing out with no probable cause). I gave blood despite this several years ago in the local mall in order to get a unicorn beanie baby for my collection. I almost passed out giving the blood. I was so sick afterwards that for two days I couldn't even move off the couch without getting dizzy and lightheaded. I called the Red Cross about giving blood after telling them this. They told me not to come in. Ever again.
I can't give money. I just don't have any to give. After searching for a job all summer I started a temp. job with the local university in order to pay the bills (and eat). I've only gotten my first paycheck so I don't have enough in the bank yet to donate any of it. For the same reason I can't donate my time. I need to work so I can eat.
I'm not a doctor, so I can't help there. The Red Cross is asking for computers and technical help. Since I am neither a) a computer nor b) technical help. I can't do anything there.
I am a writer. I write, and I have a feeling that's what I'll be doing this weekend. Writing and drawing. Trying to feel useful even though I am not.
Now, I'm depressed.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: CNN.com
On Wednesday, September 12, 2001 at 08:49 a.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
A very short entry since I'm at work and I need time to gether my thoughts. All pictures have been removed in rememberance of those who lost their lives in the attacks on New York and Washington. The following information was taken from Sluggy Freelance in the hopes of getting them to as many as possible.
American Red Cross, cash donations
— (800) HELP-NOW
American Red Cross, blood donations
— (800) 448-3543
(This site has been down a lot recently)
Salvation Army, cash donations
— (800) SAL-ARMY
Doctors willing to volunteer their
help should call (518) 431-7600.
Blood donors in upstate New York may call (800) 448-3543 or (800)
272-4543; donors in the New
York City region may call (800)
692-5663 or (800) 933-2566.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: washingtonpost.com
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 02:39 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
One of the few news sites that's been pretty consistantly up. Most of the sites are down due to traffic. Cell phones in the NY and DC area are off. They're asking everyone not to use the phone systems because they're flooded. I'm going to post my opinion and everything at a later time. Now is not the time.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Blackbird's Original Anime Fiction Guide
On Monday, September 10, 2001 at 07:54 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Geeze it's been a long time since I sent my URL to this place. Over (does mental math) three years. Good grief. For those of you following my ANI I have good news. I found some of my original character notecards. So in the future I will have character info up. This will greatly help me in writing more of the story. Now if only I had a computer with Microsoft Works on it. No, Works files cannot be read by Microsoft Word. Yes, all my original files were written on Works. Yes, this does mean I am unable to work on the story when I want to. Dammit.
I finally tracked down the beginning of the third part of the (A)typical Gundam Wing Fanfic. It's hand written. I just need to finish writing it then typing it up. Should be done by the end of the month. Maybe sooner. So those of you who keep bugging me about it (you know who you are) will be happy. The third part will be gratuitous Duo torture. We'll actually get to the plot next chapter. Really. ^_^;;
Work on other fanfics has ground to a halt as I go through a kick of working on my original stuff. God how I missed developing characters. The particular piece I'm working on looks like it might even be publishable. That is, if I don't just stick it on my webpage. That's probably what I'll wind up doing. Lots of what happens after fate is done with the adventurers who saved the world. Depressing and good at the same time. I love writing.
I need an artist. A good artist. One who won't mind reading yaoi, and drawing pictures of my characters. I would contact Kari Dawg but I know that yaoi just isn't her thing. So, if you are can draw well, and you like yaoi contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to work out what I want done and possibly a gift story for your time and effort. Fan art for any of my stories, original or otherwise, is always appreciated.
In other news:
When did the Freedom story decide to turn yaoi. I didn't plan on it to be yaoi. I don't remember giving it permission to be yaoi. I would distinctly remember deciding to make it yaoi.
Oh well. Look for yaoi themes starting in part four. Yes, I am aware that just one part (part three as a matter of fact) is up. See Microsoft Works comments at the beginning of this rant as to why the other parts are not done/up.
PS- I am still not satisfied with the part of Freedom I have up. I'm going to do some more editing to it. Be the third time I've put it through the ringer. The only person that has to be satisfied with it is me.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Here be Dragons
On Friday, September 7, 2001 at 05:21 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
The link is put there because I could. And the fact that I like dragons. Alot.
Now for the rant. I hate sites and people who tell everyone that anyone can write. I imagine this is true in the same way that the statement "Everyone can draw" is true. I can draw stick figures, but I doubt anyone would want to look at it. Or call it art. Unless you were one of those weirdos who likes modern art. You might like it in the same way people like modern poetry. It's random, but connected by the fact that everything is a word. It's composed but without talent. It's dark and black and a true reflection of the poet's tortured soul.
Must be good. Not.
People would agree that stick figures are a long way from Picasso. And that someone who specializes in sculpture doesn't know enough to teach a class in painting. So why can't these same people figure out that their fanfic is a long way from a classic novel? Or that someone who writes poetry has no business teaching a class on writing short stories? Does that fact that writing uses words rather than any other medium immediately fry people's brains?
All I want these people to understand is just because you can put words down on a page does not automatically make you a writer. I can make lines on a piece of paper. Doesn't mean I'm drawing. And putting random words down for twenty pages does not give you a poem. It gives you twenty pages of crap. Save a tree. Don't bother.
Teachers are the worse. Schools have drilled it into their heads that kids need "encouragement" so that "their feelings are not hurt." So teachers will basically tell anyone that they can write. After all, as long as it uses grammer and spelling and the basic form correctly it must be good? Right? BZZZZZT! Try again. Sometimes it doesn't even need to have any of these three things for the teacher to sing its praises.
Some people were just not meant to write. Kinda like some people were just not made to be athletic. Instead of telling these people that they're going to become the next Charles Dickenson, teachers need to tell them "It was a good try" and never let them near a peice of prose again. Poetry is even worse. Anyone who tells you that anything you write that is not prose is "good" poetry needs to be drug out into the street and publically humiliated.
Because do you know what will happen if you give some of these people half a chance? They will writer entire novels, 300 to 400 pages long of this drivel. With no spelling, grammer so loose it might as well be a two- dollar whore, and plotholes big enough to drive a Mack Truck through. Then they will post it on the internet. Or worse a mailing list. And do you know what's worse? People will email or respond to them (probably others who can't write) and ask them to write more. They will feel that they are justified in taking up precious bandwidth.
Feel the horror.
What's worse is those people who have been writing a total of three days who think they can tell me how to write. I have been writing seriously for an entire decade. I know how to plot a story, thank you very much. I know I'm not the absolute best, and I'm learning all the time, but I do know I am better than you. I do not need you to tell me what to do.
And Heaven forbid you actually critique these people. Or give them advice. How dare you give feedback to someone. Shame on you. Didn't you know that I, who have written a total of one (1) story ever know everything there is to know about writing? That I am the writing God?
I guess what bothers me most is that people fail to realize that writing takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. You can't just sit down and write a novel anymore than you can sit down and paint a painting. Well, you can but will it be anything anyone will want to look at? It takes time, and patience, and skill, and (above all else) more talent than God gave a turnip. It cannot be learned overnight. Or in a two week course. Or even over a semester.
And if anyone tells you differently, and you believe them, I got some ocean front property in Arizona that I would like to sell to you.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Computer Stupidities
On Friday, September 7, 2001 at 04:32 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Only two more pages to go. I have triumphed over you, you scanner from Hell. Bask in my triumphant glow.
I am now back on AIM. If you know my email, you can find me. If they didn't want me to use it, they shouldn't have put it on my machine at work.
Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Gothic Gardening
On Thursday, September 6, 2001 at 10:07 a.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:
Very interesting site. I always figured that if I never got married I would be the lady who lived down the street that all the kids liked and all the parents were scared of. And I would have this garden with all sorts of dark and twisted plants. This site brings me one step closer to that reality.
In other news, my roommate managed to take a very ungraceful tumble down a set of steps. Five steps to be exact. All she did was sprain her ankle. So she's feeling real anti-social and is hobbling around. I would call her "hop-a-long" but I know from experience that that would get seriously hurt.
The funny part is that she sent me this email. The subject line was "I'm okay." The first line read "I'm okay." You have to understand, in roommate speak this means something along the lines of "I'm not dead... yet." We could be missing body parts, bleeding to death, or have just complete totalled my car (experience rears its ugly head) but as long as weren't dead (yet) we would still say "I'm okay." I'm almost afraid to know what we would say if we weren't okay.
The second line explained that she had sprained her ankle, and because of the adrenaline and an empty stomach, she was having dizzy spells. Okay nothing strange there. She drank some pepsi and ate something and was fine. I do the same thing.
The third line was once again those words of doom "I'm okay." So I sent her an email asking her if she was sure it was just a sprain. My roommate has fallen down stairs before, hurt herself, and not realized how badly she was hurt until it was really bad. One night at about 3:00 am the dorm we were staying in had a fire drill. Eight flights of stairs after having just been woken up is not fun. We had just gone down the first flight when my roommate tripped and hurt herself.
Now I don't really remember what happened. I was kinda out of it. But I do remember physically hauling my roommate to her feet, mumbling something about is she was okay, and then continueing down the stairs. What I didn't know was that she had twisted her ankle and proceeded to walk down the remaining flights of stairs on it. Her justification? She was so tired she just wanted to get it over with.
Now if that had been me, everyone in the entire building would have known that I was in pain. I would have screamed like a five year old and possibly have thrown a major tantrum. But not my roommate. She had to do her Heero Yuy impression and be Miss Stoic. She went to the doctor the next day because by that time her ankle was twice the size it should have been. Her ankle has bothered her ever since, and is more prone to getting injured since the incident.
So back to me asking her if she was sure she was all right. I asked. She replied that the paramedics said it was just a sprain. This is where I had hissy fits because in my experience you do not call the paramedics for "just a sprain." You call the paramedics when something is seriously wrong. She finally explained that Public Safety called the paramedics because she was having dizzy spells. Not because of the fall.
Right now my roommate is trying to figure out a way to get crutches without going to the doctor. I think she should just go ahead and go. She (unlike I) has insurance to cover that kinda thing. That's what insurance is for. To use when you need it. Otherwise, why have it? She looks so pitiful limping around. Kinda like Igor. "Yeth, mathter..."
Until further notice, I advise my roommate to avoid stairs of any way, shape, or form.