emgeetrek: (Default)
I live in Massachusetts.

It has been a bad night here in Massachusetts.

Imagine how difficult it must be, as a liberal Democratic candidate with statewide name recognition and a good reputation, to lose the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy to a conservative Republican state senator that hardly anyone had heard of eight weeks ago, in the most Democratic--and, arguably, the most liberal--state in the country.

Now imagine that said Democratic candidate had gone on vacation in the middle of the campaign. Yup. Less than a month before the election. Gone on Christmas vacation. LEFT THE COUNTRY to go on vacation. Imagine what sort of a message that sends to working class folk who are beleaguered and unemployed or underemployed and overwhelmed by their Christmas bills even though they tried to be especially frugal this year, and who can't even manage a weekend on the Cape let alone a week in the Caribbean. Imagine the arrogance of a candidate who is so sure of being elected that she chooses to skip campaigning for a week and lie on a beach instead of visiting senior centers and shaking hands at bus stops and schmoozing at coffee shops, while her opponent makes like the Energizer bunny in her absence.

Maybe it wouldn't have made a difference. The political pundits point to an overall lackluster campaign, a failure of the candidate to define herself thus leaving it to her Republican challenger to define her. But the epic incompetence of this campaign goes far beyond this one misstep.

Had Martha Coakley won the election, I planned to send her a note saying, "I voted for you this time, even though you did nothing to try to earn my support. But don't EVER take my vote for granted again." Even though I won't be sending that note now, I'm guessing that she got the message.
emgeetrek: (Default)
I moved 23 days ago, but my new place still looks as though I just arrived yesterday.

Any day in which I get at least two boxes unpacked is a very good day.

Any day in which I get one kitchen cabinet or closet shelf scrubbed out, preparatory to loading it up with what I've unpacked, is an EXCELLENT day.

At this rate, I should be cooking the first meal in my kitchen around the Fourth of July, and box-free by Labor Day.

:: looks at box jungle, lies on sofa with attack of the vapors ::
emgeetrek: (Default)
Yippee! I got an invite today! Thanks, Denise! ::waves::

Unfortunately, I won't be able to spend much time here over the next few days. I'm moving in--yikes!--a week!--and the house still looks like a bomb went off.

Don't even have time to upload a userpic right now. Or to learn what I need to know about using DW effectively. (Not that I ever proceeded beyond the stone knives and bearskins stage at LJ. I can post, code for italic and strikethrough, use a cut, and comment, and that's pretty much the extent of my expertise.)

At some point I'll be importing my LJ--not that there's all that much of it--and I do expect to be following along in both places for the foreseeable future.

Oh, how I want to spend more time on my writing, reading, and commenting, and once I settle into the new place I'm looking forward to doing just that.

Dreamwidth--yippee! ::does the happy dance::
emgeetrek: (Default)
Dear valued potential customer,

Please accept our sincerest apology.
You recently contacted our website inquiring about our services.
We truly appreciate your considering Made-of-Fail Moving Co.
However, due to some website problems, which now have been corrected,
your initial inquiry was not properly received, until now.
As a result, we were unable to respond in a timely fashion.
Again, please accept our sincerest apology.
If Made-of-Fail Moving Co. can be of any assistance to you now or in the future,
please do not hesitate to contact me:
CELL                xxx-xxx-xxxx
OFFICE            xxx-xxx-xxxx
FAX                  xxx-xxx-xxxx
E-MAIL             xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Thank you,
[name redacted to protect the guilty]
General Manager
Made-of-Fail Moving Co.

[EmGee's complete original email inquiry, with full contact information, attached at bottom of message.]

Dear made-of-fail moving company and [name of general manager redacted],

If I had not already selected another mover, and sent in my deposit, your response would have done nothing to encourage me to contact you.

You have my full name but addressed me as "Dear valued potential customer."

You have my telephone number and a preferred time to call, but do not indicate that you intend to call me.  Instead, you put the burden on me to call you again, if I'm still looking for a mover.  NOT a smart sales move.

Website problems + poor sales response = lost sale of approximately $2,000.

Just sayin'.

- EmGee

All things considered, I'm glad these incompetents people didn't get in touch with me for an entire week.  I got two other estimates,  ultimately hired the awesome! expensive! but awesome! Gentle Giant movers (Seriously, awesome!  See their website at www.gentlegiant.com.  They sent out an estimator.  He spent 45 minutes with me and provided actual helpful advice!) , and am looking forward to working with them (well, as much as it is possible to look forward to moving).
emgeetrek: (SG-1)
Hokay, campers, this one has been sitting on my hard drive for quite some time.  The first and final lines of the snippet under the cut are what arrived first in my strange little brain, and try as I might to scrub them away, it appears they are indelible.  At first it all came to me in 1st person, Daniel POV, but it's in 3rd person now.  I do have a couple of scenes following this one written as well, but this story is such an early WIP that I'm not sure it deserves that title yet. 

You would think I have some clue as to why Jack says the final line in this scene, but no . . . I have thought and thought, and have a few ideas, but I encourage you to speculate.  Feel free to send your other SG-1 friends by to speculate as well.  Hell, if anyone's interested in turning this into a round robin, I'm game.  Just help me get this thing out of my brain!

Stargate SG-1, Jack/Daniel
Working Title:  A Prayer for Healing


Vignette here . . . )
emgeetrek: (Default)
So my lease came up for renewal, and I looked at the exorbitant rent my landlord was proposing to charge on the renewal of my 3-bedroom townhouse (a $50 increase in this economy, what are they thinking?), and considered the fact that even without the increase the rent was exorbitant, and said, "I must move."  And then I had to lie down on the sofa with an attack of the vapors, because there is no hell like the hell of moving.  Seriously, surgery is less painful.  (And I know whereof I speak; I've had surgery.  Twice in one year, even.)

My landlord (one of those very large property firms) requires 60 days notice to renew or decline to renew a lease.  This presented something of a problem because, mostly, that's too long a window to lock in a new place to live.  Many, many hours of looking on Craigslist later and checking out every other online listing service I could find, I finally decided that there were sufficient options available that I wasn't going to be stuck in limbo, expected to move out of my current place but with no place else to go, and I gave my notice.  Another attack of the vapors.

The landlord did offer to hold the line for one more year at my current rent, but, hey.  Already exorbitant.  Bad economy.  Uncertain future income situation, cobbled together as it is between self-employment income and 3 part-time jobs.  Reducing monthly expenses is the prudent thing to do.  Then we considered putting me into a smaller (therefore cheaper) unit in the same complex, but nothing suits.  Very depressing, because I really do like where I'm living now.  Except for the exorbitant rent part.  And the exorbitant heating bill part (the complex was built without insulation in the 70s, when energy costs were low).

I decided I had three non-negotiable needs in a new place:  1) a first floor unit, or a townhouse like I have now, or an elevator building, because I am not going to schlep groceries up stairs; 2) air conditioning, whether central or wall units, because my self-employment requires a home office with computer and other office equipment, and I need to keep it (and me) cool; and 3) in-unit laundry, because I have it now, and once you've had it you never want to go back to coin-op.

Lo and behold, I have found it all.  It's a Cape-style house in a lakefront development, built on a hill well above the lake (so no flooding worries), originally a one-family but with the walk-out basement turned into a separate apartment with its own entrance.  I'm looking at the main part of the house, which has a large living/dining room, eat-in kitchen, bedroom and full bath on the main floor, and a master suite in the second-floor loft.  More square footage than what I have now.  Beautiful views of Lake Hiawatha (no gas-powered boats allowed, hallelujah!), a terrific deck, lots of light.  Lots of storage.  Heat, hot water and electric (and snow plowing) included in the rent, which is $79 lower than my current no-utilities-included rent.

There is a catch.  The place is kind of in the middle of nowhere, a vast emptiness (well, a small emptiness) known as Blackstone. Population about 8,300, most of whom live at the other end of town.  I'd be no farther away from some of my activities than I am now, but for a couple of my part-time jobs, which represent about 7 trips a month total, I'd be adding 20-30 minutes to the commute, each way.  And the second catch is that I don't know yet if I have it; there was one other person who had seen the place and if she got her application in before me, and her credit pans out, she'll have first dibs.

I really hope I get this place.  While I'm waiting to hear, I'm staving off additional attacks of the vapors by weeding out and systematically getting rid of as much stuff that I don't need as possible.  Yay for Freecycle.  Yay for Craigslist.  But as for the rest of the moving experience?  Hell, pure hell.
emgeetrek: (Default)
The night before last, I slid two slices of bread into my venerable toaster oven (hand-me-down from a relative, and probably 20 years old). It's a good thing I didn't leave the kitchen while the toast was browning, as I often do, because a short time later I heard a loud hum from the toaster, followed by a popping sound and sparks from the switch area, followed by a cloud of electrical smoke. I flipped the switch to off (probably not a sensible thing to do; could have electrocuted myself), unplugged the toaster, and waited for it to cool before tipping the whole thing into the trash.

Last night, on my way home from teaching, I stopped at the local spawn of the devil, aka Wal-Mart, to pick up a replacement. Cards on the shelves indicated a choice of 7 toaster ovens; only 3 of the 7 were available, none a model I wished to purchase. In fact, the shelves looked pretty empty overall, compared to the usual situation of merchandise spilling over the edges. As I left the small appliance aisle, toaster-ovenless, and proceeded to the food aisles to pick up bread and milk, I noticed that the grocery shelves were similarly understocked.

I proceeded to checkout. Three stations were open. There was almost no wait. I've never been in such a quiet Wal-Mart. Yes, it was 5:30 PM, the time when most folks are on their way home to prepare dinner, but still . . .

The only conclusion I could draw is that this economy is hurting the discount stores as much as, or maybe even more than, the more upscale stores, and they're trimming inventories (the retail equivalent of hunkering down) because people just aren't buying anything but the bare necessities. Which will lead to factories cutting their production, and probably some factories going out of business. In any event, the supply pipeline to the U.S. is going to be drying up pretty soon.  Retailers have been cutting back on orders for months, and we're starting to see the signs of it on our store shelves.

My prediction is that, as things start turning around and we all decide it's okay to go shopping again, there won't be anything on the shelves that we want to buy.

The retail apocalypse, it is upon us.
emgeetrek: (Default)
Less than a week, now, until the election, and I have to confess that I've become addicted to the site www.fivethirtyeight.com. The polling summaries and projections are fascinating, but equally compelling are the reports on the campaigns from the field. Take a look at this excerpt from the report from North Carolina:

Read the excerpt . . . )
And when I read this, I wept too.
emgeetrek: (Default)
This morning, I turned on ABC just in time to see the "In Memoriam" segment of George Stephanopoulos's news show.  When David Foster Wallace's name came up on the screen, I was shocked. 

On Friday night, Wallace hanged himself.  He was 46 years old.

Less than a week earlier, my (distant) cousin, a bright and talented young man according to those who knew him best, died of a drug overdose.  He had been in rehab, and clean for some time, but addiction is a disease of remissions and relapses.  Michael was 22 years old.

I've not read Wallace's Infinite Jest, nor any of his other fiction.  But I fell madly in love with his essay writing, as found in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster.  Lovely, lovely pieces, all of them, intricate and obscure and funny and sad and full of footnotes that often are longer than the paragraphs that spawned them.  Ferociously intelligent pieces that demand the reader's full engagement; nothing dumbed down.  I always had the sense that I was missing about half of what I was reading, but not in a frustrating way:  rather, in a way that every good text promises that there is more to learn, more to discover, more to understand if we will simply put in the time with it.  I never did return to those essays, never did put in that extra time, though I always intended to.  There are so many books to read, and so few hours in the day.  But now, I do want to reread them and savor the richness of their language, laugh again at their wit, plumb their depths. 

David Foster Wallace is gone.  There will be no more brilliant essays, no more astounding fiction. 

Michael is gone.  We don't know what he might have contributed to the world; his life was only just beginning.  Still, among his family and friends, he will be forever missed, forever mourned.

Rest in peace.

emgeetrek: (SG-1)
by EmGee

Originally posted to Area 52 in July of 2002.  This was my first SG-1 story.  Beta by Azpou--a talented writer who published some excellent SG-1 and Trek stories before taking down her stuff and disappearing from the web.  Wherever you are, darlin', hugs and kisses.  I hope you're still writing. 

Post-Meridian.  Fixit-free.
emgeetrek: (Default)

::sigh:: I suspect I didn't handle the posting of Skinner's Arms very well.  There should be links to the next part/parts of the story as well as the previous part/parts.  RL is intruding and I don't have time to clean it up now, but I will soon.

Bear with me, friends . . . I will get better at this.

emgeetrek: (Default)
Originally published in (and now timed out from) the Beacon in the Night online fanzine where, I suspect, the only people who read it were my fellow contributors. 

Skinner's Arms
by EmGee

emgeetrek: (Default)
 This one comes from [personal profile] sparkymonster via [personal profile] dragojustine, and it's called The Very Good Taste Omnivore‚Äôs Hundred.  It sounded like fun, so I took the test.

My score is 39-1/2  out of 100.  Guess I have a ways to go before I can really call myself a foodie . . .

emgeetrek: (Default)
 I'm starting to think that I may be abnormally sensitive to sound.  

emgeetrek: (SG-1)
Another entry for Porn Battle VI.  Jack/Janet, NC-17.  Okay, okay, I know you're all J/D slashers.  So am I.  Which is why I can promise you that there's a hint of something slashy, too.

Find it here

emgeetrek: (SG-1)
My first published fic in a long, long time.  

J/D, NC-17.  

This is a vignette that ultimately will appear, in somewhat different form, in a longer story.  I adapted the scene from my WIP to fit the requirements of Porn Battle VI. 

The direct link is here.

emgeetrek: (Default)

Area 52, the Stargate Slash Archive.

I've had the "Recent Stories" page bookmarked for eons, and I check it often.  It's just been redesigned, and I do not have the words to express my horror.  How many more unnecessary, irrelevant, unreadable, color-challenged and distracting elements can they put on that page?

And if that weren't bad enough . . . a few notable entries aside, the sheer awfulness of most of what's shown up there lately is serious cause for despair.  The latest outrage, as framed by the most recent iteration of the page:  two different authors, one of whom has definitely been around long enough to know better, who have failed to grasp the notion that British English and American English are not the same, and that Americans do not wear singlets, or speak of their arse, or use biros.  (And there's no such thing as a "postrate gland"--yes, spelled the same way twice--but that's a different rant.)

I would give up on the site were it not for the fact that occasionally I do find a decent story there that doesn't show up in any other venue.

Topic for discussion, should you so choose:  is the story quality at Area 52 declining, or is it just that I'm getting pickier?

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