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It's odd, you arrive at her doorstep, drenched in rain, having battled with the elements to approach her abode.

You see her, she opens the door wearing cute cotton pajamas, smiling sweetly, then as she recognizes your face she grins, blushing as you hand her your flowers. She welcomes you into her house, warm and cozy, and with a smell unlike anything you've smelt before, and she's baking soft chocolate chip cookies. She insists you sit down on her bed as she removes your jacket and clothes, then she throws you a towel from the bathroom, grinning sweetly again.

You'd do anything for this girl, and you did, everything got in your way, the car wouldn't start, and when it did you got stuck in traffic with a 70 car pile up ahead of you. So you got out of your car, and you walked, roses cradled in your arms. She has this mysterious power over you, something you can't understand but you'd do anything for, you'd call it lust, but you care for her, and you'd call it love, but there's so much more to it. And you'd do anything.

Arrgh... fiction and I do _not_ get along well - at least when i have to create it. i was given a picture of a woman looking out a window, here she is:

“…clip-clop-clip-clop…” The horse’s hooves seemed to beat rhythmically with her heart. A million thoughts raced through her head, until the brilliant sun, blazing grasses, and cobblestone streets all blended together into the glimmering reflection of light in the horse’s mane. Her mind was sucked into the blur of her tears – would she ever see him again?

For as long as she could remember, war had seemed to be out to get her, only her. It had taken her father’s last breath before she had taken her first; her uncle, the only man in her life until she was thirteen, was stripped from her in a blaze of bullets and hate. Now she was strong enough to take care of herself – yet she couldn’t hold her brother back from enlistment. Now Peter, poor, beautiful, obstinate Peter – refused to disobey the call of the country.

Soon there was only silence and a small black dot on the horizon. Echoing in her mind was Peter’s strong, soothing voice, “I’ll be back for you soon, my love…” She replayed those words over and over again, as the golden setting sun swallowed everything, splashing prisms of hope through the diamond of her engagement ring onto Peter’s black and white portrait on the mantle.

ah, noding for personal posterity...
i've been in so many backseats lately.. squished up against people, it's peculiar. very peculiar (or not at all).

lately i've felt like i have connected with very few people i've met (and i've met a lot of people). i guess that doesn't matter.. but after a while i wonder what the point of meaningless interaction is? i don't think i'm particularly fond of social scenes in general. i feel so exposed.

maybe those recluses are onto something..

anyways, to all those i have met recently, it really was a pleasure.. i am just a little socially inept.
I have this other girl in my life who scampers around and does the silliest things like hangs my sons jeans in my closet. I put them on yesterday and showed them to my husband who said Turn around. They were humongous!! Over my shoulder I asked him if they were his? The only answer I got was the glad eye so I dropped them around my ankles to enhance the view. (Aha! This must be what they mean when they say life begins at forty.) But Number One Son with impeccable timing pulled up in the driveway so I had to hop and wiggle my way out of the living room while hubby provided cover.

This girl inhabits the spaces between my thoughts and the only way I know she's been around is when I find odd jeans in my closet or become suddenly aware that I am sitting alone in the empty church parking lot early on a Saturday morning.....sometimes she makes me cry and at other times I get so angry! She is the one who got to take my son to piano lessons that I don't recall.....yet she is no where to be found when I call to find out about Life Insurance for myself. It's three years almost since I began recovery. I called Select Quotes for the cost of a ten year term policy for now. I can't afford Universal Life with two sons and putting them through college, we've lived here for 19 years and still have 22 years to pay on our mortgage I would like to refinance into a 15 year one with our income tax return so my husband can retire at a reasonable age.....I have given up any hopes of being able to work. Who would want me after what I went through with this insurance guy.....

Age? Non Smoker? yes yes to all that.
Do you work ? No, I'm on disability.
oh.... How long have you been out of work? I work at home but I haven't been able to work outside the home in about 5 years
oh...... Do you want to go on? yes
Where you hospitalized? Yes, twice
Do you take any medications? Yes, I take Clonazepam for seizures.
hmmm let me read this to you.....it's used for clonic seizures, atonic seizures, temporal epilepsy, panic disorders, bi polar disorder Should I go on? yes
You know we will ask for the doctor's report. Are you sure you want to go on? yes please.
Why? I would like a quote please.
He gave me a quote that was three times the cost of the original one in the mail and more than 10% of my income.

This is rapidly becoming a difficult holiday for me. It's very unusual for me to be so down but there you go. Impatience and feeling overwhelmed seem to be the order of the day, trying to create happy memories for the holiday; it's insurmountable. Possibilities can become such harsh expectations.

The missing memories come out of nowhere and there is no getting used to them. My son says he took piano lessons, I took him every day he says but, I have no recollection of who the teacher was, nor taking him. I am angry at this robbery of time with my children who are nearly grown. I want to get rid of her and all this havoc she creates! The real world is harsh and refuses to try and understand what the real cost is. Who else is capable of loving her the way she wants to be loved? And who else can say to her that whatever you are; whatever you become, in spite of anyone else's expectations, this is your potential and it's a wonderful thing.....if it weren't for her promises in life it would be impossible to hold her up and make goodness visible, there would be no happy discoveries of mixed up jeans in my closet, her beauty would die. Last nights journal says, I am unhappy.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
~Matthew 11:28 (NIV)



Here's a letter that I just wrote to the fine folks at Warner Home Video. All you Babylon 5 fans out there, feel free to write one yourself!

Michael Radiloff
Vice President, DVD Marketing
Warner Home Video
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA   91522

Dear Sir,

I write to you in regard to the production of the Babylon 5 television series on DVD.

I thank you for taking the first step with the December release of The Gathering and In The Beginning, and I want to assure you that I am in the market for the entire series on DVD.

I am given to understand that the success of this release will be interpreted as a bellwether for the success of the series as a whole. From that point of view, I hope that the sales figures totally astound you -- on the high side, of course. However, I must admit that I don't understand the rationale of test marketing a DVD which contains minimal features. (I, of course have not yet seen it, but that is certainly the whisper in the wind.) A consumer's decision to buy or not to buy is a very gross barometer which can be interpreted in many ways; I, and I'm sure many others, worry that buying such a thing sends the signal that a minimal product is acceptable, while knowing that not buying it does not communicate our point that the concept is highly desired and saleable, but that we want it to be done right!

In any case, I have placed my advance order for this first B5 production. I have not yet even finished my first watching of the series (currently at S4 E12), but I started some time ago keeping my eyes and ears open for the presence of a DVD version.

As far as what I would like to see in such a product, I have two things that I hope you could keep in mind. One, at least occasionally have some real-value extras, for example, a commentary track by Mr. Straczynski (which, while I'm not plugged into any B5 subculture per se, I believe he would be very happy, nay anxious, to provide) or others. Two, please don't make the (in my opinion) mistake that Paramount made with Star Trek of putting only two episodes on a DVD that could hold four or more. Of course, you'll want to charge more, but most people surely want to own the entire series, not pick and choose episodes here and there, and there is no reason to make it take up more space in my living room than necessary.

I thank you for your attention, and I await the historic beginning of the production of Babylon 5 on DVD!

Why stop at one? I also sent this letter to:

  • Mike Finnegan:  Vice President, Editorial and Programming Services
  • Paul Hemstreet:  Vice-President Special Features/DVD
  • Kristin Grosshandler:  Manager DVD Special Features

B5 watch
Twelve episodes into season 4.
The year is 2261.

It's been a serious evening, for some reason. With all the recent turmoil with friends and acquaintances, it's really no wonder that relationships have been on my mind a lot recently. i was on my way to the Target of Denial on the motorcycle, thinking about relationshipness - those qualities that distinguish a "relationship" from a "friendship" and those qualties that make them the same.

Somewhere between razor blades and soap, it really hit me about all the sacrifices and compromises i've made for relationships and how it's usually bitten me in the ass, about how i keep coming back for more. Not that i'm a glutton for punishment or some old sad bastard, just that i usually entertained different ideas about where the relationships were headed, as opposed to where actually were heading.

i was looking back in my journal the other day. It's a big wire-bound art notebook, crammed full of loose sheets of paper, the cover torn off and held on with rubber bands. i started writing in it in the spring of 1998, just after i caught Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and i wrote in it more or less steadily ever since then. It's been to Europe and back and survived going on four years of college. i stopped writing in it last year a bit after i was dumped by the first person i ever really loved. i didn't have anything else to write. The words just didn't start, so i stopped until they'd flow again.

Tonight, i've got stuff to write about. It's all starting to come back - the desire to write, the words tumbling out of the pen like fresh snowmelt in a barren streambed. i've seen a lot this year, both good and bad. It's a big, crazy world out there. i'm already thinking about the future, both the immediate and far, something i really haven't done in over a year. Resolutions for New Years have never really been my thing, but i've already started to make a few.

Relationships have always seemed iffy things on which to base wishes. It feels so different this time - more confident, stable, quiet, unyielding. i've never felt as at ease and as wired around anyone else in my entire life. Being around Laura is like being wired into a 440 volt socket, yet i've never been more relaxed. It would be nice if it was easier to see each other on a regular basis, but it seems like we're both ready and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make this work, which feels very nice. i'm also starting to be able to see the end of the road for my undergraduate work (finally) and thinking past that point for the first time. And i like what i'm thinking about, what i see in my slowly unmuddied crystal ball.

Somehow or the other, i'll make it through this next week of class and through my finals, then it's off to NOLA to decompress for a while and hang out with Laura, Ken and Bryan, some of the random friends that come out of the woodwork at the strangest times for the strangest of reasons. i can't wait.

Once in a while
you get shown the light
in the strangest of places
if you look at it right

- Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia, "Scarlet Begonias"

QXZ's London Invasion, Part Three
back to part two

Alone in a crowd. If I could be a camera.
Born down in a dead end town.

Chilly morning. I awake to find Mother TESCO closed! Horrors. Hours are, apparently, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sundays. So, instead, I throw myself onto the bosom of Benjy's Restaurant on Earl's Court Road. Time for breakfast and figgering out just what one can get up to on a Sunday in this town.

Breakfast was the "Builder" plate: 2 toast, 2 sausages, 1 fried egg, 1 piece of bacon, baked beans, french fries and a cooked tomato. Well, the tomato was on the plate, anyway. All that plus a large orange juice for £4.70.

Have decided to get my hat and head up to Camden market...

...which was much like any street market anywhere. I wasn't much in the mood for hip clothing, fun t-shirts, weed paraphernalia or souvenirs, so I contented myself with people-watching. It's gloomy and overcast, which pretty much aces photography for me. Nothing like flat, gray light to make any scenic picture boring.

So, I went down to see St. Pancras Station. It's amazing; really should be called The Cathedral of St. Train the Divine. A Victorian neo-gothic palace, red brick and stone masonry, spires, and one of the largest clocks I've ever seen inside. The place is endless. I went in for a moment and the train "shed" area brought back memories of Summer 2000's Eurail Adventures.

Now at the British Library for micturation and viewing of very important old paper things.

Amazing to see the handwriting of Sir Walter Raleigh and Benjamin Johnson. Mr. Johnson could write in very, very tiny letters. Raleigh's penmanship, straight from the Tower, is not as precise as Johnson's; hurried. Execution imminent?

And William Shakespeare's own handwriting! A page from the excised "May Day" scene in The Booke of Sir Thomas Moore. The label describes the document as "the only literary manuscript to survive from Shakespeare's own pen". His script is barely legible to me, due more to stylization and embellishment than sloppiness. It's painterly, and the ink looks like watercolor these 400-odd years later. Tails of letters swoop and flow down across several lines. Almost arabesque. Beautiful.

So many things... A manuscript of Beowulf, written down in the 11th century. A hand-copied version of Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Alexander Pope's handwritten translation of The Iliad, with conceptual drawing of Achilles' shield. Lewis Carroll's handwritten manuscript for Alice's Adventures Under Ground, the predecessor to Alice In Wonderland, with Carroll's own illustrations! His handwriting is extremely neat and precise, and the words EAT ME, from the cake, are visible; open block lettered.

Good lord... Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, handwritten. In pencil, it appears. Words slop all over the page, no respect for linearity, even in penmanship. The pencil grinds into the paper, thick and smeared. Lettering of all sizes. Paragraphs piled, stacked, tumbling. Hasty lines crossing out or pointing to. Joyce.

Gustav Mahler's orchestration of Urlicht from Des Knaben Wunderhorn in manuscript, with handwritten (text) notes.

Beatles. Handwritten lyrics for Ticket To Ride and Penny Lane, A Hard Day's Night (on the back of a birthday card...a boy riding a choo-choo train, waving at us), I Wanna Hold Your Hand, The Fool On The Hill (in orange marker?), and a draft of something on Lufthansa stationary that has lyrics from Strawberry Fields Forever in it. As such, I assume that's Lennon's handwriting.

And, over here, the Magna Carta. Or, at least, various pieces that are, as a whole, the Magna Carta. Underwhelming even to the Library, it seems. The first sentence on the exhibit label reads "Magna Carta is a disappointing document". Essentially, great historical importance with little entertainment value.

The Codex Sinaiticus: the oldest complete Greek manuscript of the New Testament extant (4th century).

One could spend hours and hours just in this room, examining these treasures. I've been here for two already, and it's time to leave.

Oh, but one last thing on the way out: a Gutenberg Bible. Press printed, hand illustrated. From 1454-55.

Picadilly Circus, W1, City of Westminster. As expected, it's a lot like Times Square... yet lower key. Easier to navigate. Noted tourists here, as in New York City, photographing advertising. So I did the "cultural" thing instead and photographed the statue of Eros on the fountain bathed in neon light.

It's fish and chips time. Decided to hit The Shakespeare near Victoria station, 99 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, SW1, for that purpose. The sandwich boards outside advertised "the best in London", so, by God, they'd better be. Hopefully this pint of John Smith's will go well. Table for one: aww yeah.

Springsteen's Born In The USA came on the jukebox while I ate my oily food. I laughed out loud. Fortunately, no one was near enough to hear me.

The Shakespeare's bathroom featured a man trough. And, with that, I'll call it a night and head back to the hostel.

Excerpted from QXZ's travel journal, 12/2/2001.
QXZ endorses no one.

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