Tag Archives: Star Trek: Voyager

Dear Googlers 5: Other Letters to Other People I’ve Never Met (Probably)

29 Mar

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “a poem for a drunken jerk” and “forgotten fake poet”:

Welcome!  I am an unknown fake poet, so if I’m remembered at all, I will be soon forgotten.  Also, I am often a jerk and sometimes a drunk, so many of my poems–which you can find here–might appeal to your drunken, jerky proclivities.

Poetically,
Alexandra

***

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “janeway flirts with seven”:

True.  But to her credit, Janeway flirts with everyone.

You better have something bigger in your torpedo tubes,
Alexandra

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Why Fans of Classic Movies Should Like Star Trek: Voyager

11 May

I’m a firm believer that Star Trek: Voyager has something for everyone; however, everyone is not the same, of course.  For example, if I were trying to  indoctrinate cajole my Grey’s Anatomy-loving coworkers into watching my favorite show, I would entice them with a completely different set of pros.

As it stands, the following list is inspired by my blog friend Ruth, who is a delightful classic-movie blogger.  Several posts ago, I talked about Voyager’s still enjoyable bad episodes, and she commented that she’d never watched the show before.

That’s an Internet gauntlet, folks.

I’ve compiled this list to attract a certain kind of person, and I have faith in my tactics.  And, as Captain Janeway would say, I feel lucky today!

Series Overview

Let’s get a quick rundown of what’s going on in this series before I start the list rolling.  I’ll pretend anyone reading this has never watched Star Trek, so I’ll try not to be too technobabble-y.

The Premise:  It’s the 24th century, and Earth and several other planets have long ago joined together to form The United Federation of Planets.  Starfleet–a space navy, basically–serves and protects this governmental agency.

There’s some disputed regions on the fringes of the Alpha Quadrant (because they’ve divided the galaxy into quadrants and named them with Greek letters, of course), and a rebel group called the Maquis has sprung up to defend what they feel is their own land.  Officially, The Federation sees the Maquis as terrorists, but they’re all wronged idealists, mostly (and the dudes they’re fighting [the Cardassians], who are officially in The Federation, are sneaky jerks, tbh).

Captain Kathryn Janeway and her new starship Voyager have been sent out to the Badlands to go after a particularly trouble-causing Maquis ship, on which one of Janeway’s oldest friends is serving as a spy!  Quelle drama!

Before she goes, she springs a dude from jail who had been in Starfleet and then also in the Maquis to act as her guide! Quelle more drama!

Well, both the Maquis ship and Voyager get gotten by an alien who pulls them 75,000 lightyears away from Earth–all the way to the Delta Quadrant.  This dying alien is trying to figure out if anybody has similar DNA so that he will have an heir to look after this planet he’s looking after.  Spoiler alert:  Nobody does.

Meanwhile, these other aliens are trying to get at the thing that transported everybody from the Alpha Quadrant so they can use it to gain power and take over stuff.

Janeway can’t let them gain power and take over stuff because they’re meanies, so she destroys the thing, stranding her ship and the Maquis ship in the Delta Quadrant.  Quelle drama-est!

This is the first time Janeway meets Chakotay (the Maquis captain). I hope they both brushed their teeth this morning because dang.

Janeway and the Maquis captain decide to join forces to get back home, so they all take up residence on Voyager and are forced to work together.

Meanwhile, they’ve picked up a few people from the Delta Quadrant to be on their crew:  a dude who’s a trader and is supposed to be good at navigating this–to Alpha Quadrant types–uncharted space and a lady (from the planet the alien who whisked them away was guarding) who has a really weird short lifespan.

Also, meanwhile, the ship’s doctor dies in the first twenty minutes or so and is permanently replaced by the Emergency Medical Hologram.  His journey into sentience becomes a plot point in many episodes.

Also along the way they run into the Borg, a species that is not so much a species but an amalgamation of species who act as one unit, like a hive, and they basically steal other species’ bodies to use in their ultimate goal of perfection through putting together the best parts of every species and then enhancing themselves with robotics.  The Borg are weird and scary and robotic and hard to describe, and when you’re part of the Borg, you have no personality of your own and do only the will of the Collective.  Anyway, Janeway rescues a lady from the Borg, and her journey into humanity becomes a plot point in many episodes.

So, if all the sci-fi hasn’t already turned you off, let’s have a go at the list.

Honorable Mention:  Clean (with a Little Innuendo)

One thing I really love about old movies is that they’re not explicit.  If a couple is intimate, they cut to a fireplace.  If somebody’s mad, he gives a glare and bunches his hands into angry fists instead of cursing a blue streak.

And because of the cleanness, they get to have a little more fun (and be a little more creative) when they wanna be a little bit dirty.  So they say things like, “You know how to whistle, don’t ya?” instead of something yuckier.

Because Voyager aired on regular old TV instead of HBO and because we have a lady captain who is so stagy and sassy, we get cleanness, and a little bit of sassy dirtiness once in a while.

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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

Found Poem: I’m mad

14 Apr

A short (not to mention completely bizarre) spam found poem since I’m pretty beat from working on my awesome Voyager video yesterday.

I’m mad
and that’s a fact I found out

animals don’t help Animals
think they’re pretty smart

Shit on the ground, see
in the dark

What If the Voyager Theme Were Sung By the Andrews Sisters?

14 Apr

I kind of did this in response to Tish’s request that I write words to the Star Trek: Voyager theme (after we had watched a couple videos of other people doing the same).  And I kind of did this in response to my own barbershop kick.  And I kind of did this in response to having nothing better to do. (But really, I could’ve done a lot of things I should’ve done instead of work on this for 10 hours.)

Um… So here it is.  At 4 am.  Lol.

Why You Might Find This Picture in Your Text Message Inbox

12 Apr

We take a break from our regularly scheduled Poem a Day to bring you this special message from Mrs. Columbo:

creepy puppet

Behold this screencap from an episode of Mrs. Columbo called, “A Riddle for Puppets.”  Mrs. Columbo, for those not in the know, is a short-lived Columbo spin-off (kinda) that chronicles the adventures of Columbo’s never-seen wife (kinda), who is a housewife/part-time reporter for a tiny local newspaper that is mostly coupons.  Except Kate Mulgrew is about 15 in the series (while Columbo is about 60 always), and I guess later the producers decided she didn’t have a husband at all and the whole thing is just weird about that aspect of it.

Mostly, it’s just a show that follows the same format as Columbo except with a plucky lady in the lead investigator role.

Oh, and also, the show is completely absurd.

And Kate Mulgrew is the stagiest actress ever.  Which makes the show watchable.

So in this episode, a ventriloquist murders another ventriloquist.  And this puppet that Kate Mulgrew is holding had “witnessed” the murder (the murderer ventriloquist is crazy and thinks the dummies are sentient), so the murderer ventriloquist tries to get rid of this dummy by giving it to Mrs. Columbo (to take home to her daughter.)

I’m already loling as I write this.

I grabbed this screencap as I watched because. Well. Lol.

It has amused me ever since.

I have been texting it to people ever since.

And that has also amused me.

Oh how I love it; let me count the ways:

  • For the purpose of clarity so far in this post, I have called this lady alternately Mrs. Columbo or Kate Mulgrew, her name on the show and the actress’s name, respectively.  But at home, in texts, and on twitter, I almost always call her Baby Captain Janeway.  Because Captain Janeway.  Circa 1979.  This cracks me up for some reason.  Tish was watching the show with me the other day, and she said (about the sometime boringness/straight up weirdness of the show):

“I’m glad she went back to school to become a starship captain.”  

  • This ’70s outfit.  Double-popped collar!  Holla!
  • That facial expression.  You can tell she’s thinking, “WTF am I supposed to do with this thing?”
  • That dummy.  And his hair.  And his everything.
  • That dummy’s name is Clown.  He is a clown.  And his name is Clown.  They did not give him a name like “Bobo” or “Laughy-Smiles” or “Stan.”  His name is Clown.  And everyone says it with a straight face.  I can’t even write it with a straight face.  Clown.  LOL!

And so, because of the listed reasons, you may unexpectedly get Clown Bombed (as I’ve termed it).  Don’t worry; you’re in good company:

A coworker’s watching documentaries while recovering from knee surgery. So, of course, Clown Bomb.

A middle-aged-lady friend had invited me over the night before, but I couldn’t make it. So, of course, Clown Bomb.

I always text Tish about where we’ll go eat after church. So, of course, Clown Bomb.

I’m sure no one loves this quite as much as I do.

Ask me if I care.

creepy puppet

Cuz Clown sure don’t care.

If Everything Were Written by Charlotte Brontë

30 Mar

What if everything were written in the same mellifluous, melodramatic style as Jane Eyre?  Wouldn’t life be glorious?

If Double Indemnity were written by Charlotte Brontë, that scene where Phyllis and Walter confront each other in Phyllis’s living room might go a little something like this…

venetian blinds stanwyck

Rather dimly do I recall the events of this evening, though it was not long ago.  Presently, as the very life blood pours out of me, the memories come to me as through a haze, some dingy fog that might be seen in a great coastal town on a moonless, dreary night–and understandably so as I look through my mind’s eye at the scene.

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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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Dear Googlers 3: Even More Letters to Even More People I’ve Never Met (Probably)

20 Jan

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “is ‘just like that’ a simile?”:

In the strictest sense, a simile compares two unlike things using like or as for some figurative reason, so depending on the thing you’re saying, “just like that” about, it could–technically–be a simile.  However, I think it’s best if we file it under cliché–which is an expression as old as the hills (see what I did there?) that expresses a shorthand version of a common idea.  Generally when somebody says “just like that,” the person means something happened quickly, in a New York minute, in a flash, quicker than a cat can lick its butt with its tongue out and its tail up:  The person doesn’t actually compare two unlike things but simply says a stock phrase to get the point across.

Linguistically,
Alexandra

***

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “to get a necklace from a man”:

So you’re looking for tips on how to entice men to buy you things?  Well, I am baby girled quite a bit (that is, people tend to like to look out for me and do things for me and generally treat me like a baby girl, and I’m not sure how or why this happens), but men hardly ever buy me presents.  Believe me:  I wish I could be more helpful, for both our sake’s.

Regretfully,
Alexandra

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