I've written to share information, celebrate a fandom, plead my case, capture a moment, and express my feelings. To view examples, select a category from the "cloud" below, or read on for a smattering of excerpts.

all that twitters is not gold · blog: encouraging words · blog: personal · blog: TV toaster · crush, flirt, flee · enter the "anne-thology" · flashbacks: assorted blog clips · flashbacks: Dad-isms · flashbacks: rusty glow of crushes · flashbacks: TV and movie moments · flashbacks: waitress wah-wahs · ideas: gift-giving · ideas: other · interview with the webmistress · micro-reviews: movies · micro-reviews: musicians · micro-reviews: TV Shows · Reviews: Books · Reviews · tips: web-wise ways · weaving the w.w.web · yammering on (a.k.a "afterthoughts") · yearly review

Excerpts: Articles

I always feel like somebody's reading me

I've discovered that, after learning that one's blog may have been found by one's Real Life work acquaintances, one's thoughts tend to progress through certain stages:
- Denial. "No. No, they can't have found my website."
- Anger. "It's your fault, blabbermouth OfficeMate! YOU told them about the site!"
- Delusions of Grandeur. "Maybe my blog will finally get some traffic. Maybe I'll become some sort of local celebrity!"
- Damage Control. "I'd better post some sort of explanation for what I've been writing."
- Obsess Over Everything. "What does So-and-So think of what I wrote? Is he taking it all wrong? What will I say if he asks about it? HOW CAN I EVER FACE HIM AGAIN?!"
- Return to Denial. "I checked my stats, and it doesn't seem that they've found my site. *That's* a relief."
- Giddiness. "My secret thoughts remain secret! Woo hoo! And I'm free to write again!"
- Return to Reality. "Wait, they could've found the site this other way, which wouldn't show up in my stats/referrer list."

How To Talk To Your Waitress

I was waiting on a grandmother, her daughter, and the daughter's toddler son. They ordered macaroni and cheese for the son; I told them that we only had mac and cheese on Wednesday. Upon hearing that, both the mother and grandmother put their elbows on the table and put their forehead on their hand. (Talk about drama queens! It's not as if I said we were out of chocolate.) They took the menu and very solemnly asked the little boy what he wanted. Without the fuss the ladies were apparently expecting, he chose something else.
Lesson Learned: sometimes you have to pick another vegetable.

Do they, or don't they?

It's a question as old as time itself: how can I tell if someone likes me? While there's no fool-proof way to tell, after you've been around a while, you'll start to pick up on the clues. Until then, here are some things that make me think a guy is interested, inspired by my recent adventures with a guy from school.
-Whenever one of you enters a room, the other one will invariably look, make eye contact and smile.
-When you say that you're going to lunch, he asks if you want company. Which, of course, you do. :winks: Then he offers to drive.
-He remembers details that you've mentioned. For example, he'll ask you about your friend chezanne, instead of you having to explain, during a conversation, "You remember: my friend chezanne? I've told you about her four times??"
-You notice that he's quick to point out, when the topic arises in group conversation, that he does not have a girlfriend. And when he mentions a girl's name to you, he feels compelled to explain her relationship to him, as in "I was telling Michele - that's my sister . . ." And you believe him because he's mentioned her before, and you remember who she is.

Criticism: Don't "Just Ignore It"?

Could it be that we might actually do well to consider others' appraisals? I think the answer to that question is best summed up by this insightful comment, left in response to the post mentioned above: "Everyone has something to learn from their supporters AND their detractors." While we might prefer to hear only good things, how would we ever improve if people only praised us?

So, how can we decide whether a critique is something to be incorporated or ignored? Here are a few considerations.

- Am I able to think about this objectively? -- I find that I'm most sensitive when I first hear a criticism. If I can't think about it without feeling very emotional (i.e. angry, hurt) I put it away until I can be more objective.

- Consider the source. -- Who is the critic? A close friend or family member? A business associate? A stranger on the street? Some Internet troll?

- What is the critic's likely motivation? -- Are they truly trying to help? Or, are they just trying to show off? Or would they fall into the category of "hater," who will have something negative -- or downright mean -- to say about pretty much everything?

Regardless of the source and their possible motive: is there a kernel of truth to the criticism?
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Excerpts: Commentary

Misheard Lyrics

In the song, "Escape" (a.k.a. "The Pina Colada Song") by Rupert Holmes, the singer tells of reading a personal ad that starts:

"If you like Pina Coladas
And gettin' caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain..."

And he's intrigued by this person, so he starts his reply:

"Yes I like Pina Coladas
And gettin' caught in the rain
I'm not much into health food
I am into champagne..."

From the way he matches what she said in the first and second lines, I've often thought that the "not much into health food" line is supposed to be a joke. As in, she doesn't want someone who's into yogA, so he replies -- trying to sound knowledgeable, as if they're on the same level -- to express that indeed he does not like yogURT. :D

Book Review: Tigerheart

TIGERHEART is not your average story. Its fantasy occasionally contemplates reality, and the result is thoroughly entertaining: easily the best book I've read in years. The author's style was especially engaging. Throughout the book I found myself rereading paragraphs because I thought they were so cleverly written, I just had to enjoy them again.
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rose world or thorn world?

This haiku...

An unthankful heart
with eyes fixed on thorns has a
rose and yet does not this quote...

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment." - Georgia O'Keeffe

...prompts this question:

Which world do I want? With complaining, I get only thorns, but with gratitude, my world is a rose.
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Episode Review: Lady for a Night

The Young Riders' writers consistently do a great job of telling their tales, but this week, I re-watched "Lady for a Night," and the story struck me as especially compelling. It makes sense that, during the course of the series, there would be at least one plot (well, besides hiding-as-a-boy and attracted-to-Kid) where Lou's being a girl creates unique complications. Typically the gang solves some crime or rights some wrong, but this time, the crime is perpetrated by the seemingly charming man Lou finds herself attracted to.

To further dissect the story, alone in another town, Lou's seemingly simple foray out for an evening in a dress was her "testing the waters." She'd been living a decidedly unfeminine life, posing as a boy but watching with envy as other girls get to dress and act like ladies. She finally decided to try it for herself. The handsome Tyler responding to her as he did no doubt validated her effort: she was indeed a lady. At the risk of over-identifying, I have been where Lou is. The first time a handsome guy paid attention to me, I felt just like Lou, and probably for the same reason: validation. However, also like Lou, it soon became painfully obvious that the man you want is not always the one you need. In fact, pursuing such a man could prove quite destructive.

At the risk of over-thinking, Lou's dilemma with Tyler personifies the discussion Lou has with Emma about relationships. Lou confides to Emma that she's frightened by Tyler's feelings for her, and yet she likes it, too. Lou is at a loss for what to do next, and Emma (quite unhelpfully) says that Lou must decide for herself. This starts to ring true when Lou hears that Tyler lied to Sam. Lou chooses to keep quiet about what she knows, opting instead to go confront Tyler. Sadly, he turns on her. He not only chooses his life of crime over any feelings he has for her, but he tries to use her own feelings for him against her. "You won't shoot me," he taunts confidently. "You like me too much." And it's true, she does like him -- but she chooses to end the relationship and save herself. However, the pain of her choice (Tyler's death, representing the finality of her decision) shows on her face. It's as if, in the moments after he died, her whole attempt at being a lady -- in fact, a woman -- was a mistake in the way it all ended so badly. Happily, Lou seems to have made peace with it by the episode's end.

A big part of Lou's peace likely came from Emma acknowledging Lou as a girl. Emma revealed that she had known Lou's secret, but she waited until Lou gave some sign (in this case, buying the dress, even if she did hide it) that she was ready to share it. In her disguise, Lou had been forced to relate to everyone as something she wasn't, so it's important that she'd now have Emma to relate to not only as a fellow woman but as a mentor and friend, both good to have when braving uncharted territory. It's also significant that Emma wanted the other riders to be "introduced" to Lou in the dress. This gave the guys a more complete picture of who Lou is, and as the people who know her best (who happen to be members of the opposite sex) their subsequent approval was critical. At first, Lou only dared to wear the dress away from home, as if the two lives, rider and woman, could not coexist. In the end, Lou appreciated that Kid accepted her as both, even if he'd only physically seen one side.
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Excerpts: Fanfiction

Only Human

I should've killed them, Murdoc thought, as he again pondered recent events.

He was sitting at the counter of an out-of-the-way bar in a particularly shadowy corner. His failure to prove himself to HIT had left him a target, but that didn't concern him. He knew he could elude - or exterminate - anyone they sent after him.

No, it was the ample opportunities he'd had to succeed at his task that troubled him more. He could've killed the woman and the girl as soon as he found them helping MacGyver. Or, instead of his elaborate set-up to restore his opponent's lost memory, he could've threatened the woman on the spot. MacGyver would've emerged from hiding, and three bodies later, it would have all been over.

But he'd made the decision to try to avoid taking out the woman and the girl. Anybody can pile up bodies, he'd told himself. He, however, was a professional, and he prided himself on doing his work as neatly as possible. Besides that, there was no profit in their deaths. Simple as that. And it wasn't as if he enjoyed killing people.

Okay, he liked it a little bit. At first. But that was a long time ago, and now in his quieter moments it was starting to wear on him. Truth be known, he'd actually enjoyed his "time off." He'd been to the lake, to the park, to the grocery store -- everywhere. He'd watched the people, but for a change, it wasn't as a predator. It was as . . . He had just been . . . a person.

Coming back to himself, he quickly dismissed his reverie. Maybe I am getting old.
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Excerpts: Recaps, transcribed scenes


Frasier's ex-wife Lilith was back in town looking for reconciliation, but Frasier, knowing no good could come from that, asked Niles to keep her away from him during their evening out. It turns out that Niles and Lilith wind up in bed together at her hotel room. As they're waking up, they're both surprised and a bit panicky. Niles says, "Let's just stay calm. These things happen, they happen every day... " He starts to panic again and adds "... every day in *Arkansas!*"

In one episode of the sitcom Gimme a Break, Nell was at the police station after losing her temper while trying to deal with the phone company. While she's in jail, the arrival of a local news team inspires Nell to play for sympathy by grossly exaggerating her treatment while incarcerated. At one point, she feebly mourns that all she's had to eat was two raisins, "and I wouldn't have had them if they'd been crawlin' faster."
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Excerpts: Recollections

"I know who you are."

The next evening, our design project group was meeting. He's in that group, and at one point we wound up alone in the room. For a second, I went back to looking at my book, acting like I was working on homework. Then I recalled that I vowed to myself to take the next opportunity to ask him about the school. So, I looked over and said, "Did you ever go to (School Name)?" He nodded briefly, then said, while looking right at me, "I know who you are." He said, "You live by Joe Johnson, right?" I said, yes, and asked, "And you used to live right across the street." He said yes. Since most of the teachers at the college call me by my first name, he said he wondered about that: when the group exchanged email addresses, he saw that I'm anne at (Company Name). He said something like, "I was sure that was you. I almost looked it up in one of my annuals." Inside, I gasped because I had I looked him up in *my* annual a few weeks ago. I don't remember the order of the conversation exactly, but he said that he remembered riding the bus with me, to which I said, "Wow - that was such a long time ago." I've always had a real grasp of the obvious. :rollseyes:
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Shun the Shame Game

And let's not forget food-shame. Oh, no, I can forget that one. When I was in elementary school, one assignment we had was to write the instructions for how to do something. I chose to detail the steps for making a fried bologna sandwich. Hey, I was a kid from a lower-lower-middle class family in the South. It didn't occur to me that bologna wasn't everyone's cup of tea, and it certainly never occurred to me that something so simple could be so ill-received. But, believe me, I knew it after that day. I still remember the condescending look of disdain on the snooty substitute teacher's face as she read aloud each of the steps I'd written. I was humiliated.

Looking back, thinking of that substitute's response, I marvel. Really, lady? Really?? So you don't like processed meat. Your opinion of it (a food!) is so extreme -- and your estimation of the importance of this subject is so high -- that you could not hide your contempt. A fourth-grader's feelings be darned!
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dance monkey dance

The co-workers' critical, must-put-other-people-down-to-feel-good-about-self attitudes notwithstanding, their mocking reminded me of a similar incident from years ago in my waitress days. I was walking down the main corridor of the restaurant's kitchen, and I suddenly felt compelled to move to the music. So I did, and I swayed and strutted, imagining myself the confident center of attention as I prowled the catwalk in a fashion show.

Unfortunately, I was snapped hard back into reality when I turned to find the only co-worker present doubled over with laughter. That wouldn't have bothered me so badly had that same guy not soon been all "you go girl!" to another, older(!) employee who gave in to the urge to shake her groove thing. For her he claps along to the music, yet all I get is, "Silly Anne, sexy is for ... someone else."

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind being the "girl next door" type, although I *really* don't like to call it that. I even like making people laugh - I think it comes from being the youngest child - because I really feel I've made a connection if I can make someone laugh. It's just that sometimes I get tired of being the goofy court jester, you know? Every once in a while, it would be nice to be the princess.
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meeting the Guys

Most of the other fans (well, four fans and a guy who was coerced into coming :) were already there, in the private room at the back. Then Kelly arrived and we waited, since the Guys had said they would be there later. Patrick and his brother Carl arrived first. For only a moment it was almost unreal to me, being in the same room with someone that I've seen on television. That moment quickly passed because both of them were very nice; they introduced themselves and - despite earlier being a bit giddy, wondering what on earth we would say - all of the fans did the same. Carl sat next to me; he observed from my accent that I was from "somewhere down South." I made a concerted effort not to say "Alabama" the way I usually do, in a VERY Southern way.

According to my off-line journal, Chris arrived next, then Damon, then Eddie. Damon brought gift bags for us that contained a GND tee-shirt, some buttons, a single of "I Was Made For You," and a fan mailing from back in the day. All of the Guys were so nice - and real, if that makes sense. They went from being merely celebrities that I admire to being people that I actually know, people that I've spent time with.

Collections of Reflections

I reflect on this material, and the musings subsequently reflect my sporadic notions and states of mind. (Hmm... could this be a viscious cycle?)

dear diary frequently given answers glossary lessons learned letters to and from me

quotes quoted subject to punning things I really like™ top ten lists unexpect the expected

See the Sites

My twenty-something websites combine an assortment of writings -- such as those sampled above -- with a host of other original content. Specific features and links to all of those domains, blogs, fan guides, platforms, libraries, etc. are listed at:

F O O T · N O T E D