Tag Archives: Captain Janeway

National Poetry Writing Month Retrospective

4 May

In which I reflect upon my (successful) April endeavor.

I wrote a poem every day during the month of April.  For realsies.  (Except some of them were found poems made out of my spam comments, which doesn’t feel that real, but I count it anyway.)

Of course, because of the time frame, and my sometimes rather limited abilities, some of those poems were less than stellar.  I’d like to use this post to reflect on my better achievements and some of my disappointments, as well.

Let’s start with the bad and move up from there.

Least Favorite:  my favorite thing to lose

Why I Don’t Like It:  I was trying to go for some kind of weighty metaphor yet keep the tone kind of light instead of dropping into melancholic melodrama (as is my way sometimes), but it ended up being kind of stupid and reaching.

Worst Part: The final four stanzas.

and maybe next week it’ll just end up back again

and maybe next month you can make a deposit again

and maybe next year you can start making direct deposits again

and maybe next century you can have enough credit built up to lose it again

I thought this was going to be clever, but the more I look at it, the more cloying, idiotic, and nonsensical it is.

2nd Least Favorite:  Let me call myself

Why I Don’t Like It:  I love found poems of all kinds, and I tried to write one with a literature base, but the thing about them is that they should say something different from the source material.  The parts of this that aren’t nonsense basically just summarize “William Wilson.”

Worst Part: The part where I use the word dismal twice.  If I had used it at least three times, it may have been poetic repetition.  As it is, it’s just sloppy.

The One That Didn’t Turn Out How I Had Intended:  I took Emily Dickinson

What I Had Intended:  A several-stanza poem that’s sorta silly, sorta serious (à la Dickinson) with inventive use of meter and slant rhyme (à la Dickinson) with several Dickinson references thrown in.  Each stanza would be about taking Dickinson to different places (the bar was going to be one, the library another).  The final stanza would be a Dickinsonian rumination on death/the nature of life, in which the narrator takes Dickinson to “the house where I died.”  You know, Dickinson stuff.

Why It’s Not What I Had Intended:  I started writing it pretty early on in the month, but then discarded it for a while.  I picked it up again and wrote a few stanzas and then thought about it all night at work and then came home and wrote (not exactly) what I had been thinking about.  It got to being close to midnight, and my section about the beach had grown too big to fit with the rest of what I was doing, but I decided to roll with it because I didn’t hate it, and it was too late to write another poem before the day ended.

Overall, I’m happy with the poem, but I kind of wonder what it would look like if I could’ve written it the way I’d intended it.

The Ones That Didn’t End Up Being Written

Mirror Universe Poem:  The Daily Prompt one day had to do with meeting an alternate universe version of yourself.  So I wrote half a really crappy poem about meeting my Mirror Universe me, who was a vegan exercise nut who was wearing the Mirror Kira shiny headband.  It was dumb.  Be glad I didn’t finish it.

Jane Eyre/Painting Poem:  I’ve been listening to Jane Eyre, and I was really struck by how she painted a portrait of herself and another of that other chick Rochester was pretending to like just so she could remind herself she was plain, poor, etc.  I loled so much when she puts the two portraits side by side and says:

Whenever, in future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two picture and compare them: say, “Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady’s love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indigent and insignificant plebeian?”

Lol!  Jane Eyre is obviously part Borg and part straight up love sick fool.  Efficient and masochistic.

So I was going to write a poem about how if I could paint/draw/whatever, I would use it only as a tool for self-instruction, like Jane Eyre.  It was going to be so maudlin and so flowery.  Be sad I didn’t finish it.

Follow Up to Just Another Song That Nonsensically Quantifies Teardrops:  I got to thinking about how the exponential model of teardrops is true only supposing one does not see one’s lost love ever again; however, when one sees one’s lost love, the tear drops show a sharp incline.  And sometimes hormones or whatever cause tear drops to increase, as well.  Therefore, some kind of waveform graph would more accurately portray a tear drop situation.  I never found the time/energy to research this and write my country-western song.  Be really sad I didn’t write this one.

2nd Favorite: The Eye Witness

Why I Like It:  I find noir fun both to write and to read, so I think this an enjoyable piece from both ends.  I also like the idea of it:  how useless a noir narrator would be as an eyewitness–always waxing gritty and poetic but never really pointing out details that could make an accurate sketch.

Best Part:  The last section, in which I crack myself up every time imagining some five-o-clock-shadowed grubby detective getting super impatient with a disenchanted dame with a long cigarette holder:

–Ma’am. Thank you, but–

I’ve got one more.

He was a man who may have wanted
to be good once,
but a life of neon lovers and gun-metal friends
had persuaded him otherwise
in the dark of some wet, murderous night.

–Are you finished?

Yes.

Favorite:  The Ice Box of My Heart

Why I Like It:  Oh hi, extended metaphor that doesn’t even seem that forced!  This could’ve turned out a lot worse than it did, and I am so pleasantly surprised by it.  I wrote it in like five minutes, and I still like it very much.

Best Part:  The simple stanza in the middle that sums up the whole thing (and was the inspiration for the entire poem):

It’s mostly leftovers,
to be honest.

***

And with that, I’ve concluded my self-indulgent analysis of my own writing.  I will probably be back to talking about Captain Janeway and/or classic country any minute now.

***

Also, to prove I’m not completely self-centered, I also wanted to share these favorite-other-people’s poems (presented in alphabetical order):

Bonsai by grapeling

Why I Like it:  It chronicles an incident in the life of a sassy WAF lieutenant!  And it uses plant imagery!  Also, sassy WWII ladies!!!!

Best Part:  Although the sassy WWII lady stuff happens at the end, the beginning really hooked me.  I know exactly what a bonsai knuckle is (my grandmother has them), and they absolutely are strong and good at cleaning and totally worthy of poetry.

Mom held up bonsai knuckles, each hand
grown gnarled, as we sat sipping red wine
in tumblers perfectly sparkled where she’d gleamed them
with those fingers. Stains have no chance
versus them, index finger angled 30 degrees
permanently crooked the better to clean.

Green-Fingers by Carol J. Forrester

Why I Like it:  I love the house plant/farming dichotomy: how house plants are somehow instinctual and farming is scientific.

Best Part:  Again, we’ve got a great opening with great line breaks.  It also resonates with me because I’ve killed many, many orchids.

My mother and I,

killed the first orchid we were given.

We are not a houseplant

sort of family.

A High of Twenty-Two by TheBookyBunhead

Why I Like It:  I’m a sucker for weather poems and for poems with repeated lines.  This one does both beautifully.

Best Part:  I love this middle stanza that perfectly shows the exhilaration/anticipation/fear in a warm day when you’re used to cold ones.

At day’s end hoped it’d still be a dry, high of twenty-two,
Sigh of relief stepping out into fresh air
Body had been programmed to seize up for winter’s chill.

PS 22 Celsius = 72 Fahrenheit

Workforce: A Good Movie Night, But a Bad Movie (That Isn’t Even Really a Movie)

3 Mar

Apparently, bourbon makes Tish and I both pretty giggly and pretty appreciative of bad movies.

Because we were livin’ the dream watching “Workforce” the other evening when we decided to drink a little whiskey and have a Janeway Movie Night (which is what we call any two-part Star Trek: Voyager).

And then I woke up the next day with a small, inconspicuous hangover and the aching feeling that what we had watched was not very good after all.

So, without further ado, here’s a review of “Workforce,” brought to you by Rebel Yell.

First a Synopsis:

The Cylons were created by man… Hold on… What?

Our show opens with Flirty!Janeway happily working on Caprica some alien planet as some kind of engineer.  We don’t know why Janeway is so flirty, nor do we know why she seems not to know she’s a starship captain.

Then Flirty!Janeway flirts with a lame alien dude (Jaffen), and EfficiencyMonitor!Seven shows up to quell the flirting–because it’s inefficient, of course–and Flirty!Janeway pulls some faces.  And they all go off to get their weekly injections that “protect against some radiation or something” (read: keep them submissive, complacent, etc.).

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Dear Googlers 4: Additional Letters to Additional People I’ve Never Met (Probably)

18 Feb

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “china town situation”:

I’m wondering if you’re using this term the same way I am.

My daughter AND my sister,
Alexandra

***

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “why does anyone care about the difference between similes and metaphors”:

They don’t. 😦

And that’s why I got fired,
Alexandra

***

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The Worst Episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (That I Happen to Like)

19 Dec

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Star Trek: Voyager is the red-headed stepchild of the Star Trek franchise, but, the thing is, I’ve always had a soft spot for gingers.  This soft spot is very large for anything totally ’90s and cheesy with plenty of action, so-so acting on occasion, copious CGI, and an interminably, bountifully sassy HBIC.  All of this adds up to, even though Voyager sometimes deals us some *bad hands, I still see some aces among the worst of them.

I present to you now the seven worst episodes **that I still very much enjoy.

Season 1: “Parallax”

Torres and Janeway talk science in Parallax

Pictured L-R: Torres; Reconciliation through Technobabble/Palpable Science Girl Excitement; Janeway; Season 1 Bun

The Episode:  They haven’t chosen a chief engineer yet.  Chakotay’s Maquis candidate is belligerent Starfleet drop-out B’elanna Torres while Janeway’s gunning for broken-nosed (by B’elanna Torres, no less) Lieutenant Carey.  Meanwhile, Voyager is stuck in the event horizon of a quantum singularity and trying very desperately to get out.

Why It’s Bad:  It’s really one of the only Maquis vs. Federation episodes and doesn’t make much of the premise.  Also, I guess the science is nonsense?

Why I Still Like It:  I am a sucker for B’elanna Torres episodes.  Oh, you want to split her into a Klingon half and a human half and have them talk to each other?  Sure, sounds awesome.  Oh, she’s upset about some Maquis deaths and feels the need to hurt herself a lot?  Absolutely.  Oh, she’s crash-landed on an ancient Greece planet and serves as a muse for a playwright?  Quelle fun!  Oh, she needs to go to Klingon Hades and save her mom and be Xena, the Klingon Warrior Princess?  Now we’re talking!

Oh, you want her to be all belligerent and get all up in Janeway’s grill spouting technobabble and then become BFFs with Janeway because of their mutual love of technobabble?  I will be there with SO MANY bells on!  And that’s why I like this episode:  technobabble and girl bonding.

Also, this episode takes place in the good old days when they still had Federation vs. Maquis conflict and Lt. Carey was around once in a while and Seska was hamming it up everywhere (I miss Seska so!) and we all thought B’elanna would get together with Harry.  Which actually makes a lot more sense to me than her with Tom.  They really would have been the cutest together.  Then she could’ve still been kind of a Maquis badass instead of having to play straight man to Tom’s shenanigans.

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It’s a Major Award!

23 Oct

So I guess The Urge to Write nominated me for this Liebster Award (which means love or something in German or something, right?  IDK, I took French, and I’m too busy being an award-winning blogger to check Google translate).

I want to take a minute to say that I am totally honored and somewhat flabbergasted about this turn of events, but I am also getting kind of a chain-mail vibe from it.  Like if I don’t accept my nomination and pass it on, Little Susie–who has cancer and is a burgeoning lesbian–will be bullied and die or something.

Nevertheless, I accept the nomination anyway.

To accept my nomination, I must complete the following tasks:

Thank my nominator (or in my case, nominatrix, as it were):

Thank you, The Urge to Write blogger.  I very much enjoy your Sunday Showdowns, and I’m honored by and shyly blushing about your wanting to know inane things about me.

Proudly display the award banner:

I was a Girl Scout for too long to ever refuse a badge!  So, see above.

Choose other bloggers to nominate:

Ask my nominees some questions:

  1. Batman and Leslie Knope are running against each other for POTUS.  Whom would you vote for and why?
  2. Identify and describe your very favorite dessert.
  3. In what outfit do you feel most confident and why?
  4. What “good” movie do you hate and why?

And finally, answer the 4 Questions Asked by My Nominatrix (or Tell 11 Facts about Me):

I’m a compliant sort, so I’ll just answer the questions.

1.  If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?

“Ooh girl! Don’t let her trick you into fangirling out!”

Um… Perhaps Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship Federation Voyager would be a logical choice:  Sassy, powerful, morally upright, carries large weaponry, occasionally wears fabulous outfits.  And all of this is done IN SPAAAAAACE!

2.  What do you see if you look out of your window right now as you’re answering this?

My backyard, in which there is

  • a patio, which is really a glorified concrete slab
  • a rickety bench we’re keeping around because…um…?
  • a movable firepit
  • the remains of Tish’s garden
  • a hammock strung between two trees in a very white trash fashion
  • a clothesline made of discarded phone cord strung between the same trees as the hammock
  • a picnic table on which I keep my cacti and ashtray
  • the back fence, which is overgrown with viney stuff that may or may not be honeysuckle and/or grapes
  • the garage

3. Where is your ideal place to live (real or fictional)?

I’m kind of vanilla about stuff like this.  I happen to really love Wichita, KS, although I’ve always daydreamed about living in the desert somewhere and driving an ancient convertible and wearing a lot of turquoise jewelry and blingtastic cowpoke boots every day.

4. What is your favorite bad movie?

I love a lot of bad movies.  My first instinct was to wax poetic about Face/Off, but when I checked Rotten Tomatoes, I realized to my chagrin that it was a good movie even though it feels delicious and sumptuously over-the-top and cheesy like a bad movie.

So I’m going with Superstar.

Molly Shannon and Glynis Johns in Superstar - 10/99

“And when I say booga booga, you booga booga.”

We’ve got an outcast who says ridiculous stuff, a stupid romance plot, a stupid let’s-put-on-a-show plot, a stage grandma, magical realism, plenty of quotable lines, death by clogging.  The movie has everything.  Divorce yourself from hating SNL movies, set your expectations to medium-low, and give it a shot.

Never fails to cheer me up.

Times I Wanted to Straight Up Punch Captain Janeway

12 Oct

This is written for the DPChallenge: And Now For Something Completely Different.  I usually write about how the bomb Janeway is, so I decided, for a change, to write about times she sucks.

Love is such a complicated emotion, especially when the object of your affection is a fictional character who’s been written by more people than a priest-and-a-rabbi joke.

So, while in general I can’t get enough of Captain Janeway, sometimes she does something so absurd and out-of-character that I want to punch her.  Here are some of those times.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: 5.23 “11:59”

The Episode: Nothing’s happening out in the Delta Quadrant, so everybody starts researching his or her ancestors and talking about why these ancestors have been such great inspirations.  Most of the episode follows Janeway’s great-great-great-times-a-million grandma, Shannon O’Donnell, whom Janeway believed to be an astronaut.  Turns out, O’Donnell was just some out-of-work nobody who helped a bookstore owner come to terms with selling his store to a shopping mall.

Why I Want to Punch Her:  Janeway is so proud of her lame ancestor and so dejected when she finds out this lame ancestor was, indeed, lame.

Redeeming Quality: It’s not so much Janeway I want to punch–having childhood heroes and then being flummoxed/disheartened when they’re not that heroic is pretty human, after all.  Shannon O’Donnell, though.  Your story is SOOOO BORING, girl!

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The Outsider Who Is an Insider

4 Oct

On the flip side of the insider who is an outsider, we have the outsider who is an insider:

A character from outside the constructed world who is thrust into the world, often to effect some change, who has a varying degree of cognizance about his or her setting and role within that setting.

The character who inspired this post is Emma Swan from Once Upon a Time.  She lives in the TV version of real life, but her long-lost-put-up-for-closed-adoption son shows up one day to tell her everyone in his small town is a fairy tale character, they live under a curse enacted by his adopted mother, and Emma’s the only one who can save them.  We learn through her eyes–and apart from her eyes–that all of this is true.  She is an outsider because she does not actually know anything about the citizens of Storybrooke or their plight, but she is an insider by both birth and destiny.

“To my credit, the dude had a Chicago dog for lunch…”

For another example, take Indiana Jones.  While he is an expert in his field, he often finds himself immersed in other cultures, fighting to fix whatever the archaeological problem is.  This is especially the case in Temple of Doom, in which he is an outsider as a westerner but an insider as the one who can figure out the curse and nullify it.  He has special skills needed in the culture he finds himself in.

This character differs from the insider/outsider in both form and function.  The insider/outsider often comes off as rather surly and introspective, whereas the outsider/insider must be, out of narrative necessity, a social butterfly.  How would he or she ever learn about his or her new world without an amount of confidence, charm, and extroversion?

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Why Don’t You Come Out to the Delta Quadrant Sometime and See Me?

26 Sep

I’m always creepin’ ’round teh internetz looking for blogathons to join because, say it with me now, my blog is super lame.  Well, I was looking the other day, and came across one that seemed kind of promising, but then I couldn’t think of anything to write about because I was only half interested in the subject; however, it did lead me to a link to a different blogathon that held a tad more interest for me.  I started researching a little and realized I COULD POTENTIALLY WRITE ABOUT CLASSIC MOVIES AND/OR CAPTAIN JANEWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Word.

So, without further ado, below looms my entry for Angela and her HollywoodRevue’s Paramount Centennial Blogathon.

Here’s my train of thought (disclaimer:  history filtered through my brain):

Movie studios faced some tough times during the Depression.  They had all this sound they didn’t exactly know what to do with yet.  They had all these actors who were kinda broad and weird from silent movies.  They didn’t have a strict production code to keep them from a million extraneous scenes of Marlene Dietrich swimming naked in ponds or Barbara Stanwyck taking off her stockings.  And they were having trouble getting an audience because everybody was super poor.

So, in the early ’30s, Paramount looked to Broadway, found a gal with a hit show, and gave her a movie deal.  That movie?  She Done Him Wrong.  That gal?  Mae West.

Subsequently, Paramount’s financial troubles lessened.

Fast forward 60 years.

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Top 5 Janeway Hairdos

6 Sep

For a more thorough examination of this topic, please consult this fabulous video.

Oh, Captain Janeway.  Girl got some hair.  Sonnets could be written.  But I’m not going that direction.  Ima do a list of my favorites.

Honorable Mention: Evil Pompadour

Evil Janeway’s evil pompadour in “Living Witness”–with bonus evil glove and evil stink eye.

Most Prominent Appearance: “Living Witness”

What It Says:  “Force must be applied without apology. It’s the Starfleet way.”

Why I Love It:  It makes no sense to me that those future people would imagine her with that short, dark, kinda butch hair.  Wouldn’t all records indicate that Janeway usually (as of Season 4) kept her hair frivolously long and luxurious?  Whatever, though.  Still pretty great.

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The Lure and Lull of Hella Long TV Plots

14 Aug

Some mild spoilers for Voyager (kind of), SVU (a little), and Damages (a tiny one). 

I’m always looking for something new on Netflix.  And I always want to start a new show that I’ve heard is amazing, but then I don’t.  I end up going back to something formulaic and episodic.

The thing is, sometimes I’m just not ready to commit to something for eternity even though the idea of it consistently makes me put things of this nature in my instant queue–things with rich mythology and evolving characters and moral dilemmas and twisty political plots.

For example, currently I’m stuck mid-season 3 of Battlestar Galactica.  I love the characters, and I’m intrigued by the story, and I want to know everything about the mythology, but I’m finding myself impatient.  Which is totally weird for me.  I love surprises!  I can wait for almost anything.

But I love the ideas in the show so much that I went online to research other people’s analysis, and I ended up half-accidentally uncovering a lot of spoilers.

I know, Cylon Xena.  That’s how I feel about it, too.

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