aqua fortis

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Attn: All Comic-Book Fans

I just found out today that comics pioneer Will Eisner passed away on Jan. 3 at the age of 87, following a December quadruple-bypass. Pretty unfortunate. I only recently read his book on the comics craft, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative.

Tempting Fate

All right, I received yet another chain letter in my inbox--this one even contained dire warnings in the form of "true" cases about what horrible outcomes of death and dismemberment could happen to me if I don't pass it on. So, as always, I'm going to tempt fate by deleting it without inflicting it upon any of you.

Okay, here I go...hang on, I'll be right back (or will I...?).

Well, it's been deleted. Just for good measure, I permanently deleted it from my trash folder. Nothing's happened yet. I'm just fine. I--AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!

Just kidding, of course.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Stalking the Elusive Writing Job

The reason I put together the editing samples, finally (see below), is that I applied to a job requiring them. I'm actually kind of starting to enjoy this job hunting thing (at least that's what I tell myself). The ceaseless cover letters, the constant tweaking of the resume...Anyway, here is a nearly-complete list of the part-time and/or contract jobs I have applied for in the past few weeks (and mostly, thus far, received no answer for, making me think my e-mail and physical mailbox must both be malfunctioning):

  • Fact-checker for trivia game company
  • SAT essay grader (did get response--not enough teaching experience)
  • Marketing consultant for tutoring company
  • Proofreader
  • Part-time legal reporter for courtroom website
  • Editor-writer for consulting manuals
  • Newsletter writer for construction company
  • Web production assistant for wedding website
  • Typist-proofreader for computer-book writer
  • Writer and/or copyeditor for
  • Freelance writer or copyeditor for iVillage's

So, yeah. I'm still sitting here. Though I do have a contract job as a researcher of curriculum for the impending Riverside School for the Arts (no website yet, even). It sounds interesting so far...though I'm supposed to set my fee and have no clue what that ought to be.

Website Update

Yes, I finally put something new on my website--some samples of my editing work. I know, it's about time. And I know that the new page is in a totally different style and, moreover, is in groovy, only-slightly-outdated XHTML 1.0 instead of old, bell-bottom-pants-and-fringed-jacket-wearing HTML 4.01 like the rest of the site. What can I say; I really need to get with the times, but I don't have the time to get with the times. Plus I kind of want to redesign the whole site again, now that I'm more comfortable with CSS and crap.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bad Hoodoo

Today there was a terrible tragedy in the city of my birth.

On a tangentially related note, the hospital where I was born is celebrating its 100th birthday. No, our family isn't Adventist--Seventh-Day or any other day--but apparently they had inexpensive prenatal care and were near our house. A very odd and coincidental story about that: the first time my mom ever met my stepdad's youngest sister, Liz, she thought Liz seemed awfully familiar from somewhere. As it turned out, Liz had been one of the pharmacy nurses at Glendale Adventist Hospital. When we lived in Glendale (only till I was 2) we apparently lived on the same street, a few blocks away, from my stepdad and his family (who are, in part, Seventh-Day Adventist). But my mom and stepdad wouldn't meet until years later, when I was around nine and long after we had moved to Riverside. Fate works in mysterious ways.

Okay, enough procrastinating. Time to start tackling chapter 2 of my new YA novel. Yup, now that Olwen is out of the preliminary stage and into the revision stage (and the stage of sitting, in proposal form, on editors' desks for several months), it is important to distract myself from stressing about Olwen's fate by bringing another literary bundle into the world. And yes, I'm already on chapter 2, though I ought to confess that chapter 1 is only a page long.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Another New Blog

AND, I just found out my friend Rachel has a new blog called Death By Cupcakes.

New Blog!

My friend and former housemate Beth has started a blog. It is way cool. She says it's boring but she is wrong. I mean, when you think about it, my blog isn't always the most exciting place on the planet; Beth's has actual daily-life dish such as her successful internet dating saga. Go Bethie!

Save the Sarahs

I can't believe it. The name "Sarah" was not on the list of 10 most popular baby names of 2003.

Today's Craigslist Fun

Attention all sneaky persons--get paid to follow someone!

Monday, January 24, 2005

More Fun with Craigslist!

Since I seem to be spending inordinate amounts of time combing Craigslist for jobs, I also end up finding some rather amusing postings.

Take this little exchange of commentary in the "Creative Gigs" section: I never did find the original ad, but I did find scathing responses from this person and this other person.

There's also this posting if you hanker to be famous for breaking ridiculous laws.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Super Geeks, v. 2.1

From now on, my Super Geeks coverage will be limited to a bare-bones summary followed by amusing highlights of the evening. I believe this will be more enjoyable for all. Or at least for me.

As far as the general plotline goes, I do have to do some catching up. The first day of adventuring, we were all summoned into the presence of Electrical Joe, who knows everyone. A library had been found to the south, possibly with valuable books and equipment in it, but it also had nasties nesting in it. We went to investigate, found stuff, and then decided that we wanted to change the game system.

So what happened last was The Library, Take Two. The Library, Take One, was just a strangely prescient dream. In Take Two, we succeeded in looting some books and computers, but also had to dispatch some displacer-cats. Then, some zoo lady wanted the remaining cats so we made a return trip, encountering on the way a dead Elvis (from the Cult of Elvis) in a burning car. We rescued his wife from bandits and then got totally whupped trying to bring the displacer-cats out of their warren intact.

Some entertaining highlights:

  • Our proposed vehicle for the outing was an armored taco truck whose horn played "Low Rider."
  • We decided that, since the Cult of Elvis men all look like Elvis, then perhaps the Cyberzombies of Fresno all look like extras from Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
  • Any one of us, to poorly performing dice: "You're fired!"
  • Overheard conversation:
    "It's not a wiener, it's a gnome."
    "It's the same thing."
  • Our displacer-cats, for the purposes of the game board, were plastic dinosaurs and barn animals of varying sizes. You haven't seen anything until you've seen little painted metal people confronting a large plastic sheep.
  • We got into a far-too-detailed conversation about the possible advantages of scat from a displacer-cat, if it too were capable of displacing. Suffice it to say that we discussed bodily application of said cat poo.

And that's it for that day's adventure. Go here for the first installment of Super Geeks.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Baby Crap

So, I don't think I've ever been asked "So when are you two having kids?" so many times in a four-hour period. Fascinating. Of course, it was a baby shower, but still--when I hear things like "you're next!" it makes me want to never reproduce simply out of a stubborn and contrary desire to prove them wrong. I do have an answer to the when question, for just such occasions as these. Unfortunately, because it was a baby shower, nobody was content with a simple answer--it had to turn into a whole conversation about the various merits of having children at certain ages, why you shouldn't wait too long or have them too soon, blah blah blah.

The answer really is easy--when we want to reproduce, and feel ready to do so, we will, and that won't be for a few years. The funny thing is, I don't think people in that sort of mood want to hear a specific answer like "between the ages of 30 and 35." They want to hear "Well, actually, I'm pregnant now! Surprise!" or "Gee, I wish I had a little snoozy-woozy itty-bitty-smooshy baby to hug and cuddle right this very second!" Perhaps I'm estrogen-deficient, but I just can't bring myself to be one of those women who dote on anyone under the age of five. Personally, I fear anyone under the age of five.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Busy Busy Busy

My failure to blog is appalling. Sincere apologies (to all three of you who read this...). In case you were wondering what pressing engagements could have swiped my attention, here's a list of some of the things I've been doing this week:

  • I've been helping prepare for my sister-in-law's baby shower, which is tomorrow. I made her a special gift which I will not describe here in the unlikely event that she's one of the three people reading this.
  • I've been looking, as ever, for part-time writing-related work. Art-related work would be acceptable as well. Neither seems forthcoming, though I submitted a few resumes in response to ads which looked promising. (Modesto Bee update: still being snubbed. Must try somewhere else.)
  • As though my list of People Who Are Currently Snubbing Me (see below) isn't growing quickly enough, I prepared two novel proposal packages and sent them today to Bloomsbury Children's Books and Boyds Mills Press. Let's hope at least one of those places does not get added to the list.
  • Speaking of those proposals, I spent an inordinate amount of time meticulously crafting a synopsis--my novel reduced to four ultra-condensed pages sucked dry of nearly all life. Whee!
  • I also read two books I got for Christmas. That was fun. I'd tell you about them if I could get this dang sidebar blog to work. And somewhere in there I watched X-Men 2. (Mmmm...Wolverine....)
  • Plus chores, cooking, eating, exercising--the usual sorts of things that tend to fill up free time.

So, there you have it. A list of excuses disguised as a blog entry. Stay tuned for more highlights of Super Geekdom.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


I think I can now safely add Blogger Forum to the list of Folks Who Are Currently Snubbing Me. This is not a huge list--yet--but it also includes a couple of web design forums, the Modesto Bee and Glimmer Train Press. The latter seems hell-bent on rejecting me time and again for any of their short story contests, while the Bee simply refuses to respond to any of my communications, solicited or not.

Was it something I said? Did I inadvertently include some uncouth code phrase that is the printed equivalent of farting in public? Maybe it's this blog. They found the blog and know what kind of person I am, the kind of person who is clearly incapable of writing for a family-friendly newspaper or respected literary journal, the kind of person who doesn't deserve to put additional mini-blogs in the sidebar, even if they were going to contain cool things like haiku and a "now reading" list. That must be it. Back to the wine; I know when it's time to give up for the day.

Super Geeks, v. 2.0

Since the continuing adventures of Geeks Gone Wild have gone on temporary hiatus, here's something equally nerd-tastic I've been doing in the meantime. We've begun a new adventure, one with the same cast of real-life characters you were introduced to in Geeks Gone Wild: Kathleen, the redheaded actress/librarian; Rob, husband and professor o'fart, as he likes to call himself; Jay, UCSC art student and RenFaire devotee; Ross, math professor and uber-geek extraordinaire; Ffyona, RenFaire accomplice whose house contains a parrot having a nervous breakdown; Mike, math professor and owner of the Massive Chest of Miniatures; and Brandon, the now-you-see-him, now-he's-in-Connecticut history graduate student.

With this same group, we have now begun a new adventure, this one in the even more geeky (if that's even possible) gaming milieu of superheroes. Yup, we've put the D&D aside for the time being and created for ourselves unlikely super-beings who roam the wasteland of post-apocalyptic Stanislaus County, looking out for the welfare of the needy: that is, us.

Dungeon Master Ross has at his mercy the elementally shape-shifting Una the Librarian (guess who?), power vampire and escaped cultist Number 13 (Rob), flying were-sphinx Ariel (sorry, Jay, if I got the name wrong), super-speedy courier Presto (Mike), some freakishly powerful old dude named Henry (Brandon), electrically charged Joe (Ffyona), and brainy psion detective Dorian Fleming (myself--HAD to come up with goofiest name possible). What kind of trouble will we get into next? There's no alignment in this game, so nobody has to role-play any pesky lawful good characters. As Kathleen's bumper sticker says, chaotic evil means never having to say you're sorry.

Monday, January 03, 2005

It's Aqua Fro!

I feel like I had all this important stuff I wanted to post on the blog, but that's probably not true. In fact, it's hardly ever true. This is the place for the trivial, the unimportant, the stuff which will linger in my mind until I spill it out onto the screen and inflict it on you. And what could be more trivial or less important than Anagrams?

If you ever used to read my IGN Weird Wild Web column, you've probably seen that link before. Well, I've certainly never run my blog title through the Anagram Server, so here goes: a list of the more interesting results generated. One side note: You can find the names of two Arab countries within the word "aquafortis." I'm almost afraid to post them here in case it gets me on some kind of government watch list, but it's probably too late for that, so here they are: Iraq and Qatar. Go figure.

  • A OAF SQUIRT (sounds disgusting)
  • A FAT SIR QUO (rejected Canterbury Tale?)
  • A QUASI FORT (sure, why not)
  • A QUART OF SI (mais oui)
  • A SQUAT FOR I (also sounds kind of disgusting)
  • AFAR ITS QUO (profound? or just dumb?)
  • I, OFT QUASAR (rejected Asimov book?)
  • AQUA FRITOS (yeah!)
  • SARA OF QUIT (huh?)
  • FAIR QUOTAS (wow. makes so much sense it's scary)
  • FIATS QUA OR (more fake Latin)
  • AFRO I SQUAT (eww, I think)
  • FAR AS QUITO (does this foretell a trip to Ecuador?)
  • IRAQ AS TOFU (okay, that one's just disturbing)
  • IRAQ USA OFT (scary, maybe?)
  • OF QUASI ART (yup, sounds like this blog all right)
  • AIR OF SQUAT (again, sounds pooey)

Okay, that was way too much fun. Or I'm just easily amused when I'm sick and quaffing cold medicine like a fat Sir Quo quaffs ale.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


This is not a real update. I have a cold, a late (albeit unintentional) x-mas gift from Rob. Plus we've had a continously replenishing supply of houseguests, and a handful of parties--birthday, New Year, and otherwise. Not a recipe for blogging.