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Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in Susan Cutter's LiveJournal:

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
7:42 pm
Rising from the dead
Wasn't sure I was going to be able to log into this -- when I switched computers, I lost my LJ client.  And it was the client that knew the password.  Oops.
Saturday, October 2nd, 2004
4:34 pm
NaNoWriMo Progress Meter

Yes, I'm doing it again! NaNoWriMo, that is. This year's novel will be "Eclipse", volume three of the "Ruler By Moonlight" trilogy. Above is supposed to be a nifty meter that will report my progress.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2004
12:46 am
Part 2 of the B7 ficathon story
Warnings: Still got that m/m explicit sex, lotsa typos, many words, and it ain't very good.

This is Part Two:

* * * 6 * * *

"Of course, they had safeguards in place but," Avon preened slightly, "certainly not good enough to keep someone like me out."

Read more...Collapse )
Monday, August 16th, 2004
11:53 pm
Story for the B7 ficathon
Warning: Story contains explicit m/m sex.

Warning: Also who knows how many typoes and other stupidities -- I ran out of time so no beta-ing.

Warning: Also way, way too many words, over 19 thou of the little buggers. IOW, it's a loooooong story.

Warning: It's also not very good. Sorry, Kerr_Avon!

Note: this is part 1.


Carnell studied the menu card. The list of dishes was short, the descriptions brusque, and no prices were listed. The corner of his mouth quirked. Naturally. Every ingredient in every dish would be one hundred percent natural. Nothing artificial, nothing chemically processed, no ersatz-anything. Strajo's had built its reputation on that. They didn't need the drooling puffery you found in common restaurants: if you weren't sophisticated enough to fill in the rest from a line reading simply "baked trout" then you wouldn't be there.

And if you worried about what the impact on your credit balance might be, then you shouldn't be there.

Read more...Collapse )
Saturday, June 19th, 2004
8:41 pm
Speaking of roles for women, it used to always drive me bat shit when they did one of those 'give the character center stage this week' episodes about a woman because it always seemed it had to be about the woman's genetalia. Will Riker would get featured in a storyline about his adventures with a near-crazy ex-captain, Deanna Troi gave birth to a alien baby. Will Riker got a story where he met up with his cloned self, Deanna had a doomed love affair with a Brigadoon-ish set up.Damn, that was annoying.
Friday, June 18th, 2004
7:31 pm
Posted elsewhere, as a comment on a drawing, but I want to think about this some more.

Well, total non-artist here, so don't take this much to heart, but my first reaction was 'pretty girl' rather than 'Soolin.'

Which I think is more a reflection on the actress's face than your art, because I have the same problem with drawings of some other actresses, too. I suspect it's because the actresses are chosen to be 'beautiful', and in women 'beauty' generally means as small a deviation as possible from the idealized/perfectly symmetrical features. 'Stepford wife' homogeneity. The fungible heroine.

Males have a much greater range of features that can be considered attractive -- they can be 'rugged', all the way to 'craggy'...even just 'interestingly ugly.' Would a women with a nose like Avon's (or even Vila's!) ever be considered beautiful enough to be cast as the sexy young heroine?

And, of course, it is exactly the deviations from the norm that allow us to recognize one face from another, the closer to 'perfect' an actress is, the harder it is to make a drawing that is forcefully seen as that particular person.
Tuesday, June 8th, 2004
1:42 am
And here we go with Incident 2.

At work I have a single pen with blue ink, plus ten thousand pens with black ink. This is because all the drug companies that inundate us with pens and other marketing crap are too cheap to spring for the extra 79 cents per 100 to get blue ink rather than black.

And more fools they, since the Doc prefers blue ink, and that way their delightful advertising crap would be on his desk and actually seen and used instead of heaped in the supply cabinet.

Getting off track.. I use the black ink pens because we are knee-deep in them, but the information on patient account cards is color coded, and some of it needs to be in blue. So I keep a single blue pen around.

The problem is, if the Doc is at my desk and needs to write something, he picks up my poor lone pen....and then absent-mindedly walks off with. And then I have to either wrestle him for it or hunt down a new one from where its hiding among the thousands of black ones. Which isn't easy, since these are *advertising* pens, meaning they come in zillions of colors which are not a clue to the ink the contain.

Anyway, this has been going on forever, well, since I've worked for him, and once I was griping about it to my best friend from high school days while we were out shopping. She said, "That's easy to fix" and out of that collection of impulse-buy doodads that crowd every checkout stand she picked up this...thing. It looked like a mini-koosh ball. You know, like a sea anemone made from a zillion soft rubber rods? It was about 2" across, in varigated shades of bright blue, and had a sleeve attachment so it could be slid on top of a pen or pencil. "No way he'll think the pen is his if you keep this on it!"

And she was right! I've used that topper for six years now, transferring it from pen to pen as the ink runs out. The Doc still uses "Webster" when he's at my desk, but he has never once tried to walk off with it. (I call it 'webster', because it plus pen look for all the world like that extendable duster 'webster' thing.) Okay, this is really silly to be attached to something like that, but every now and then when it catches my eye and I remember that day with Pauline, who is dead now. All this is prelude, sorry, but I without it you wouldn't understand why I was so upset over what has happened.

Today the first thing I saw when I walked in was a decapitated Webster lying on my blotter. :(

I knew at once it was Webster's headless body rather than one of the Doc's pens because I have to wind layers of tape around the top of the pens to make Webster fit on snuggly. I couldn't believe it at first, I kept hunting all around my desk and on the floor, thinking it had fallen off or something, but no, Webster's head was gone. (Shades of Spock's Brain!) Now, the thing has zero worth to anyone else in the world, why would they steal *THAT*? I mean, there's the computer, a brand new laser printer, there are the cabinets full of drugs, there's the petty cash box, there's a video camera and a television and a playstation 2 and games for it....and instead they steal my little Webster thingy which had cost less than a buck brandnew???

First I was sad, then I got mad. Then I started to think. Webster was alive and well when I left Friday. At that point the Doc was with the final patient, who he'd walk to the door. So no way could she have taken it. (Not that she would have -- very nice lady, and a church friend of mine.)

So it had to have vanished over the weekend. And the only ones with access are me, the Doc, and....the cleaning lady. And I remembered that one time another small item had gone missing (one out of a set of three suede balls, a juggling set) that no adult would have taken. (At least, an adult would have taken all three rather than one.) We'd asked the cleaning lady about it (the Doc likes to practice his juggling to keep his talent honed) and she'd admitted she'd brought one of her children along while she'd cleaned our office (which she isn't supposed to do -- all those drugs and such) but Cathy was a *good* girl and wouldn't have taken anything.

But the missing ball reappeared nestled alongside the other two after the next weekend.

We never said anything else about it to her.

So I gave her a call, and asked if she'd had to bring one of her children along when she cleaned our office. "Uh.....yeah, Bobby, I was taking him to a movie later and there wouldn't have been time to go back and get him."

So then I explained about Webster's missing head, and what it looked like, and why I cared. And got back a "But Bobby's a *good* boy, he wouldn't steal anything" So I explained about the timing of the disappearance meant no one else could have done it, and asked her to ask him. "But Bobby's a *good* boy--"

"Do you remember the juggling ball?" I put in.

She was quiet. "I'll go ask." Several looooong minutes later (my stomach sinking: I'm picturing her hearing about how Bobby had traded it for something else at school) she comes back and admits that Bobby had it. "He saw it and couldn't resist taking it."

"Uh-huh. Well. When can you bring it back?"

"He *really* likes it. Can he keep it?"

Oh, right, lady. I already explained to you that it matter to me as a memento of my dead friend, but that doesn't matter. Clearly I was only holding on to it so I could give it to someone who wanted it bad enough to steal it. So, the upshot is that she's supposed to come by the office tomorrow to return Webster's head.

But what really, really gets to me is that she never once apologized -- not for having her child there when she wasn't supposed to, not for his stealing. Her attitude came across as, My child wants this thing, therefore he's entitled to take it. How's that for a sterling value to instill in your child??

And, besides that, it's pretty stupid of her, too. She's been cleaning for us for several years now, and she's never noticed who signs her checks, hmmm?

I think when she shows up tomorrow I'm going to spell out the no-kids rule yet again. And then make a comment about what Three Strikes would mean.
Monday, June 7th, 2004
7:36 pm
Okay, has the world been taking lessons from Vila or what?

Incident 1:

As probably anyone who ever reads this already knows, I'm the office manager/secretary for a psychiatrist. The nature of psychiatry being what it is, we don't have crowds waiting to see the doctor, just maybe the next patient if they arrive a few minutes early or whoever drove the patient if they can't do it themselves. We have a small table of magazines for these people to while away the time with. Exactly fifteen magazines in fact: the 3 most current issues of 5 different magazines.

Thursday at 12:30 all fifteen magazines were lying there. I am positive of this because a new issue of BH&G had arrived in the mail and, as is my habit, I put the new issue on the table, removed what was then the 4th oldest issue, and straightened the lot.

At 1 p.m. Mrs. Fagin (I will call her) arrived with a brood of five children. The patient went into the session, the rest hung out in the waiting room. Now, tell me, why would anyone bring an extra four YOUNG children to an office, and not bring along some toys for them??? But that's a rant for a different time.

Now, you need to know Mrs. Fagin is well off: she inherited money, plus her husband is a very high up officer in a VERY large bank. They live in the ritziest part of the ritziest suburb of Boston. Despite that, she is cheap, cheap, cheap. Trying to pry out of her the $5 copay that is all her insurance requires is a major undertaking. She's always 'forgetting to bring her checkbook' and 'haven't gotten to the ATM yet', you know? You know the stories about how the Old Rich Yankees are that way because they never part with a buck? They're talking about her.

Anyway, Junior has about a 30 minute session, then the Doc sends him out and call Mrs. Fagin in to chat for another 15 minutes, going over what they should do to help their child. SOP.

At 2 p.m. I went into the waiting room to check on the supply of patient forms and brochures and such. The next patient was late, so the room was empty -- and so was the magazine table! Mrs. Fagin, possibly aided and abeted by her brood, had taken EVERY SINGLE MAGAZINE!

I couldn't believe it. Okay, people rip out pages all the time, a recipe they want, something like that. On a very few occasions patients have asked if they could take a magazine home to finish a story -- which is fine. If it's the most current issue I ask them to be sure to return it, and they always have. We generally have very nice 'customers.' Other than that, maybe four or five magazines 'vanish' over the course of an entire year.

And then this!

What makes it especially bad is the timing: the BHG was the last of the monthly issues to arrive, meaning no more magazines would be delivered for about 4 weeks. GRRRRRRR.

And I knew the Doc wouldn't let me call up Mrs. Fagin and demand our magazines back. He is the world's nicest person, he'd just send me out to buy a bunch of magazines and let her get away with it. And 15 magazines times at least $4 each is way more than he nets from the session, given the discount rate insurance companies negotiate and overhead costs and so forth. He gives away plenty of free care to genuinely poor people, why the hell should a well-to-do woman from a ritzy suburb be allowed to force him to treat her son for NEGATIVE income?

Unfortunately for Mrs. Fagin there were two more factors in play:

1) I am *NOT* the nicest person in the world. As part of my job I have voluntarily taking on the task of not letting patients tromple all over the Doc's good nature.

2) Fagin Jr, while waiting for his mother to come out, had decided he wanted to change from school clothes into his baseball uniform for the game he had later. He'd asked me, and I'd given him permission to change in our back room. Fagin Jr, being an ADD kid, had naturally left his clothes behind.

Consider the possibilities.

Yup, a couple hours later Mrs. Fagin called. "Uh..did Junior happen to leave his clothes there?"

"Let me look," I said with , and put her on hold for a good long time. "Yes, I found them," I finally told her.

"Can I pick them up?"

"Sure. You can do that when you bring back all those magazines you borrowed and save yourself a trip."

Silence for a moment. "What magazines? I don't know..."

"Let's see, there was the May, June and July issues of BH& G, the May, June and July issues of ...." I reeled them all off, finishing with, "Keeping track of the magazines is one of my jobs, you know."

There was another pause, then a very subdued, "Okay."

Within the hour we performed an exchange of hostages. :D

Ooops, late and long. Second incident later.
Sunday, June 6th, 2004
4:50 pm
Another test -- It's been a good six months since I posted anything here, got to be sure it's working in time for my B7 challenge story. Heh.
Friday, July 25th, 2003
10:01 pm
By the way
I don't really expect anyone to read this stuff. It just a way of thinking out loud, and somehow I feel it forces me to be a bit more objective if I post it where the *possibility* of it being read exists.
9:51 pm
I'm such a butterfly
I mean, I have the attention span of a gnat and the carry-through of a two-year-old with ADD.

The trouble (as I currently see it) is that I find so many different pursuits appealing. For instance, I'd love to study architecture. I would like to get into herb gardening. I also want to learn to draw. I find the idea of binding my own books fascinating. I'd really like to get into photography. I'm sorry I'm not more fluent in a second language. And what about the flute, I really should take that up again.

And so on.

On top of that, there are all the fannish and entertainment type things I enjoy. There are great B7 websites out there, some full of stories, some hosted by friends of mine -- and I don't seem to find the time to go there and read them. Or, if I manage to go and dl a story or two to read later on my palm, well, I carry them around for years and never get around to reading them, much less commenting.

And then there's all the things I *should* do: like start an excercise program. Like finish off the home maintenance projects I've left at 90% done for several years. Like see that my mother gets in at least *some* physical activity each day. Like take that course in accounting I keep thinking about.

You know Balaam's ass? The one who was equidistant from two piles of hay, and starved to death because he couldn't pick which of them to go to? That's me. I'll take a step or two in one direction and then my attention gets called to one of the other goals and I'll drop the first and head towards the second, then on to the third, fourth, fifth....a meaningless drunkards walk, always in a rush, never getting anywhere.

All the self-help books suggest picking the goal you want to achieve most (easy: I want to write a novel AND GET IT PUBLISHED) and devote your attention to that one goal until you reach it or decide you really didn't want it after all.

They say that like it's easy. If I could keep my eyes on the prize like that, would I be sitting here in frustration writing this post?

The best I can do is try, and fail, and try some more. Time to start a new attempt.

I've discovered that the Internet do to me what donuts do to Homer: instantly and utterly derail whatever my planned course of action was.

I also admit that email is my 'gateway' drug. It seems so innocent. I have two free hours that I plan to spend writing. But since I have my computer on, why not pick up my email and get that out of the way first? After all, it's probably no more than a handful of posts, and I'll be done within five minutes.

Which is mostly true, except that most of the time at least one of the emails will have a link to a great website or a story recommendation....

Sometimes I even can claim to myself that checking the link is a reasonable thing to do: the email said it was a valuable resource site for writers, say. I'll just take a quick look, and if it looks useful I'll add it to my favorites for later reading, and if it isn't, well, then I can delete the email about it, and that's good, right?

The trouble is, I've never met a link that I wasn't hopelessly drawn to. You read the first page, and it has a jump to what sounds like a fascinating article so you go there. And it *is* interesting, but at the end there's a link to some place with a supporting -- or opposing -- view and why not check that out now before I forget....

And then it's two hours later, and all I've accomplished is reading a whole bunch of interesting but not at all vital to me articles, and not a word has been added to my WInot-very-muchP. :(

So, new rule for myself: I am NOT allowed to open Eudora or IE unless I have written at least 500 words on the current project.

No exceptions!

Okay, 500 words isn't very much, but at least it's *something.* If I kept it up for a year I'd have a 182 thou word rough draft, right?

Now let's see if I can keep to this rule longer than my New Year's resolutions.
Monday, July 21st, 2003
10:56 pm
Inspirational Quote of the Day:
"I can't speak for every crime novelist, but I think a good rule of thumb upon entering a new situation, jobs especially, should be to think: If I were some seriously sick individual, how could I take advantage of this?"

Michael Ledwidge, 7/03 The Writer
10:46 pm
The Incredible Lightness of EBooks
Since I have my PDA on my mind right now, I think I'll post this here....btw, for those who DO read on their PDAs, are you aware Microsoft is giving away three free ebooks every week for ten weeks, to promote their updated MSReader? And not junk -- books currently being sold.

I've been greedily sucking down each title that looks at all interesting. Heaven knows when I'll have time to read any of them, but...Hey! EBooks don't take up any space, do they? And if I break my leg and end up in traction for two months, I'll have a well-stocked eLibrary to choose from.


Just read Jeff Kirwin's latest columns, and I don't think he stressed enough the advantage of e-book's lack of physical reality.

Okay, we all know that carrying 30 ebooks in your 5 oz pda beats trying to carry that many in your backpack, but even on the individual level a book can be just too big and heavy for the reader's comfort.

The most recent hardback I read was "A Game of Thrones" -- great book, but it was 800 or so pages, and I found the book physically uncomfortable to read. When I tried to read while lying down, it hurt my chest to have that much weight pushing down on me. When I read sitting in an easy chair, I had to hold those several pounds up in the air to be at proper reading distance. After a half-hour or so, my arms got very tired. Actually, simply holding the mass of pages open to the right page meant clamping my hands tight enough in a stretched grip that made my RSI start to twinge at me.

(Yes, I'm becoming a little old lady weakling. The thing is, there is an growing number of older people, many of us with various disabilities. Given that we probably have more time to read and more money to spend on books than perfectly healthy young'uns, publishers ought to take our needs into consideration.)

I ended up reading the thing by sitting at a desk with the book propped up on a pillow -- iow, pretty much all the disadvantages in terms of lack of comfort and mobility that some columnist claim will keep people from reading off computer screens.

Actually, it doesn't only apply to old people. How many young children out there are wrestling with 4 pounds of paper right now? I bet they'd find Harry just as delightful and much easier to read/carry around if it were on a tablet or pda.
10:40 pm
The Litany Against Ignorance
Just asked a question on list, and had it pointed out to me that the answer could be found with a simple google search.

I have got to learn to turn to Google first and always. Chants to self:

I must Google. Google is the ignorance-killer. Google is the mighty font that brings total knowledge. I will use the Search button. I will permit it to pass over the web and throughout the web. And when it has done I will turn my eye upon the myriad paths it lays before me. Where ignorance has been, enlightment awaits. Only knowledge will remain.
10:10 pm
Life and Death Among the Handhelds
As some of you may remember, I've been trying to decide which new PDA to buy. It's pretty much come down to a choice between the HP1125 (or something like that -- I'm bad at remembering numbers) and the Zire71. I was in CompUSA, Circuit City, and Staples over the weekend, and played quite a bit with both without being able to decide. Both had pluses, both had minuses, and most of all both were so many light years ahead of my palm IIIxe in terms of screen appearance I'd be happy with either. I couldn't make my mind up.

At work today, while making a note, my PDA blinked and the screen went black. It refused to respond to any buttons I pressed. Oh, no! I mentally screamed. My baby has died!

Even though I hadn't gotten any low battery warnings I clung to the hope that it was just a weird battery crapping out suddenly. I always have backup batteries in the case, so I installed them. No response. Uh oh. That sinking feeling got worse. I suddenly realized just how much I've come to depend on having my trusty little palm at hand...

As soon as I got home, I cracked open a brand new multipack of batteries, in the forlorn hope that maybe my replacement batteries had shared some flaw with the ones that where in it when the PDA died, they had come from the same lot after all....no joy. I did a soft reset, and again. I did a hard reset. It was dead, Jim. :(

So I pulled the newest batteries out, set the corpse reverently aside, and started surfing for prices on both the contenders. After an hour or so my sister came by, and while explaining to her all the maneuvers I'd gone through with the Palm I reinserted the batteries...and it came up with the Palm Welcome Screen!

Hallelujah! It has risen!

I actually had mixed reactions to this. I'd gotten my mouth set for the taste of new color screen....and here the old one is once again working.

Of course, everything I'd added was gone from memory. I knew I'd get back all my memos and such back by hotsynching, but what about all those special little programs I'd picked up over the past year? I didn't use them regularly, I couldn't even remember what all they were, how long was it going to take to get back in business?

Oh, well. First step first. I stuck the palm into the cradle and started the hotsynch. A loooong time later it twirpled at me, and the screen said "you need to tap here to reset your palm." Another problem? So I tap. A few seconds later it asks about reinstating my extensions and hacks. (I was using hacks? I didn't even remember...) Sure, go ahead.

And then I braced myself for the worst and tapped the application button... AND EVERYTHING IS THERE!

Exactly where it should be! It even remembers which page I was on in the various books I was reading! This is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I am in love.

Okay, to you more technologically adept sorts, this may not be a big deal. To you organized people who know what programs you added to your palm, and what settings you've chosen for all of them, and where the zip files are stored and how to go about reinstalling everything....this may not be a big deal.

To me, it's a miracle.

The choice has been made: I am now prepared to go out and get "Palm 4ever" tattooed on my hiney.

So. A question remains:

Is it likely that this mysterious death is a BAD SIGN?

As in, something is going seriously bad with the hardware and it's likely to recur?

(As in, can I still use it as an excuse for an 'emergency purchase' of a new toy?)
Wednesday, June 25th, 2003
5:13 pm
Testing, testing. Newbie at the wheels, beware!
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