Archive for the 'Jemima' Category


Thursday, July 4th, 2002

My neighbors are trying to deafen me with their patriotic vigor. This is what
I get for staying home instead of joining the crowds at the Esplanade for the
traditional Fourth of July celebration. It wasn’t the terrorists that scared me
away but the heat. I could go up on the roof and see the fireworks in miniature,
but they weren’t too impressive the last time I watched them that way.

About the hiatus…I’m taking a sudden and unexpected trip to England for
work. This has, among other things, meant inventing a training program from
scratch over the past few days, so if I’ve been less than normally belligerent
lately, that’s why. Also it’s been 90 degrees for far too long here in Boston,
so most of my free time has been spent sweating.

The places I want to see in England aren’t in the tour books - that’s not
why I want to see them, that’s just my luck. Am I the only person who
thinks of the White Horse at Uffington or of Bevis Marks when she thinks of the
original Old Country? I’m afraid my chances of seeing Pemberley are even

I’ll try to blog, but I’m hoping not to have a laptop with me. Don’t
send out search parties for at least two weeks.

By Any Other Name

Saturday, June 22nd, 2002

The sidebar of Naomi Chana’s blog has led me into strange, airy and meta-intellectual realms of blogging. I’m not sure I would want to blog that way myself - and I’m not sure I’m not already too meta for my own tastes. I’ve seen the warblogs, but I don’t think I could bring myself to opinionate on politics here - it’s just not interesting enough, and if speaking truth to ignorance doesn’t interest me, it’s unlikely to interest ignorance, either.

In her latest entry the ever-meta Naomi gets involved in a thread of the Higher Blogging about pseudonymity, in which she explains the origin of her own real-name pseudonym. Here I go and do likewise:

When I started writing fanfic, I was also forced by circumstances into pseudonymity - I was looking for a job and otherwise trying to be respectable, and this hobby (which frightens us, I dare say, far more than it frightens the real world) wasn’t one I wanted traced back to the legal me. Fortunately, I had a pseudonym ready at hand.

That’s not to say it isn’t my name, though. I’m holding a one-woman revival of Portuguese naming practices here in the New-But-Aging-Fast World, and why shouldn’t I? My own mother had no idea what her grandmother’s legal name was until I told her - all her life she knew her by a different given name and surname. She’s almost got me disbelieving what I know very well to have been her uncle and great-uncle’s (they were the same person) legal name. Yes, it’s difficult to believe that anyone could be named Alphonse in the twentieth century, but technically, it was the nineteenth century when first her great-grandfather gave out that monstrosity (along with an otherwise unused surname) to an official of the U.S. government. That was the last anyone but census-takers heard of Alphonse S—-.

So if I give an otherwise unused surname to my readers to protect myself, I’m far from the first Pereira to change names. In fact, I chose Pereira over several other family names because it was also the foremost of the classical Portuguese pseudonyms. I’m a hopeless romantic that way, and the alliteration didn’t hurt, either.

A name is not just a label, it’s also fame and reputation. If I give a biblical first name that doesn’t otherwise appear in my paper trail, and if people call me by it, who’s to say it isn’t “real”? Was the name by which my mother still remembers her grandmother her real name, or was it the forgotten name I found in a dusty old tome at the Massachusetts Bureau of Vital Statistics? Isn’t Marilyn Monroe still Marilyn, whatever her born name?

The right to pseudonymity is ancient and inviolable, and for some of us, it’s even ancestral and natural.

The Rest is Commentary

Wednesday, June 19th, 2002

I’ve been inspired by some comments on comments in
Naomi Chana’s blog to restore
comments to the blog. I’m not retracting my previous anti-comment statements
Say No to Blogback
Jemima, All the Time

I rarely take the time to read through comments in other people’s blogs,
mainly because
of the click-tax annoyance factor and the general diminishing rate of return.
With Moveable Type I don’t have to bother with clicking around my own blog -
it will automatically email me copies of all comments, which is lovely when
they’re nice comments, and highly annoying when they’re flames.
There are certainly enough fora available for flaming me without coming to
my blog to do it.

I don’t have much faith in blogging as a social activity, just as I
don’t have much faith in fandom as a social activity. I’d rather just read the fic
than go around in circles on mailing lists discussing ephemera, and I’d
rather see a single, pithy blog entry than bits and pieces of an argument
spread through the comments. Don’t even get me started on dual-blogging -
why make your readers click back and forth between your blog, your
livejournal, your blogbacks, your livejournal comments, and your secret
diaryland account? Is this the web or your personal production of Dante’s

But other people seem to like it in dribs and drabs. Asking people to
send email is about as effective as asking them to send feedback, so I was
rather surprised to get the email mentioned a few entries back. That someone
actually did make the effort to email has, paradoxically, made me want to
lower the bar on responses. Far be it from me to go against the blogging tide.

To rephrase my disclaimer, this doesn’t mean that I suddenly care about
my status in fandom or the number of people commenting here or linking me or
any such thing. I have not come into the ESFJ fold; I’m just providing a
usual and customary service.

Condescending and illogical comments may be deleted without warning.
Don’t make me say I told you so.

Somewhere in my Youth or Childhood

Thursday, June 13th, 2002

It’s good to know I’m still in love with Christopher Plummer.

Dr. Deb had never seen The Sound of Music until last night. Now, I would have said it wasn’t physically possible to grow up in the U.S. (outside of Amish country) without seeing The Sound of Music at least ten times, more likely twenty, but she’d somehow escaped America’s Favorite Musical. She wished she hadn’t asked when I showed up with the requested three-hour tape, but she made it through the movie without too terribly much moaning and groaning. I’m getting old; the first words out of my mouth were “The Baroness is cool,” and that was in the title credits. (Aside: this does not mean I’m going to start writing Bitter Jilted Janeway fic.)

Now I know why Dr. Deb has a space-alien approach to relationships - she didn’t grow up in love with Christopher Plummer. There’s just something about the Captain - something you get from Orson Wells as Rochester, or Colin Firth as Darcy, or Alan Rickman as pretty much anybody. They’re not handsome men, but they have that animal magnetism thing going - the sort of thing you imagine Miles Vorkosigan exuding. Maybe you can’t do it if you’re a pretty-boy. I get the feeling real live men never exude that way, even the ones who can do it for the camera.

And that’s wrong. Somebody broke them, and there’s nowhere to send out for repairs. Forget prolonging life, forget curing the common cold - if you want to improve the human condition, then find the gene for Christopher Plummer and start transplanting those stem cells.

To the Unknown Minion

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002

I’ve always wanted minions. Lori seems displeased with her alleged role as Sockpuppet to the Queen, but I wonder if she’s really the sole target of the most recent bout of unreason. After all, there was a plural in there. (Not that I’ve read the original - I’m taking my libel filtered through Lori’s blog these days. If I want crap from strangers, I can get it by answering the help line at work. I don’t need it on my free time, or in my blog.)

I suspect the Unknown Minion - that is, some fan I don’t know who’s snuck into the source blog’s comments to defend me. Maybe she’s young and still thinks she can save fandom from itself. To the Unknown Minion, thank you, but I think it’s well past time to walk away. How about sending me some nice fanmail instead? Don’t worry if you’ve sent some before - if double-jeopardy feedback is good enough for ASC, it’s good enough for me.


Monday, May 13th, 2002

In the spirit of being More Like Lori, I edited an entry in the accidental muse war. I did that for myself, because defending myself in my blog, which is what I was doing, was exactly what I stated at the outstart that I didn’t want to have to do. I’m not going to do it now, either, but I did classify this entry Jemima, so I will say something about me. Take it as an open letter to the easily offended.

I accept that other people are not like me. When I write about my own opinions, or my own muse, I am not thereby saying that anyone else is inferior or a bad writer. Unless you can actually quote me saying so, that’s just an assumption on your part. The number of people who make the same baseless assumption is not my concern - I’m a logician, and only logical argument interests me.

The other deep secret of Jemima is that I don’t give a flying fig. Smut does not interest me. Angst does not interest me. The museless, qua museless, do not interest me. Do not mistake me for someone who cares. Specifically, I don’t care whether I’m a better or a worse writer than anyone else.

I get the feeling sometimes that the people who think I’m full of myself (taking that statement at face value, rather than as an observation of my general disinterest) are young people who are blogging, and perhaps writing, for more social reasons than I am. I don’t use fanfic or my blog or my opinions to prove my self-worth, either to myself or to others. I’ve accomplished enough in my life not to need the muse or anything else to bolster my ego. If I read fanfic, it’s because I find it interesting, and if I write down my opinions, it’s because I find them, and the process of formulating them, interesting.

Believe me, it has nothing whatsoever to do with you.

All Jemima, All the Time

Monday, May 13th, 2002

When I was younger and smarter, I
Just Said No To Blogback. Today it’s
time to say no again. The commenting thing was an interesting experiment,
but one that’s not working out. Thank you to the many positive commenters, and
to the few unsatisfied commenters, no hard feelings.

This is not a debate; this is my blog. If you want to debate,
bring it up in zendom or send me email. I have nothing against debate, but it’s
not the purpose of my blog. My blog is my opinions, all the time. Say whatever
you want in your own blogs - have a ball. If I find something interesting,
I may address it here. Or not.

My name is Jemima, and I am an INTP

Wednesday, April 17th, 2002

My name is Jemima, and I am an INTP

A few words from to explain the mystery of me:

In contrast to INTJs, an INTP will often make controversial, speculative points of argument, often annoying the discussion-partner, and make them in such a way as to leave the impression that he is very serious about what he says. In reality, the INTP is not actually even certain himself whether he really stands by what he is saying, but his Ne strongly suggests that there must be a core of truth there. The purpose then of his outspoken style of argument is to sharpen his own intuitive understanding by testing the reaction of the listener, and indeed to examine the logic of his own arguments in real time while speaking them out.

The Ne-Ti axis is a particularly useful configuration for an interest in Science Fiction. The Ne provides a fascination for abstract ideas while the Ti loves analysing the scientific concepts presented. Many an INTP is a Trekkie, particularly because Star Trek pays a great deal of attention to logical detail. [sic] Unlike much of the general population, however, INTPs take such science fiction series extremely seriously, showing the great relative importance attached to the world of ideas. Examples of fictional characters who INTPs have a natural affinity for are Avon (Blake’s Seven), Data (Star Trek: TNG) and Seven of Nine (Voyager).

Not that any of that excuses my behavior - rational argument never needs to be excused. It’s just another fine bit of purloined content for this long-inactive blog.

Sufficient Unto the Snark

Tuesday, November 6th, 2001

There comes a time in a working girl’s life when she has to decide, do I make lunch tonight or do I wait until morning? Do I iron en-masse and leave the clothes over the chair all week, or take it one day at a time? I’ve reached a decision on this vital matter: sufficient unto the day is the ironing therein.

Zendom is going well - we have an inactive website already at Diaryland. I was just mouthing off on the list about sarcasm:

I suspect, however, that [the distinction between humor and bashing] is a cultural difference I won’t be able to surmount. You see, sarcasm isn’t just joking around to me - it’s my native tongue. Where I come from, our attitude has always been: if you can’t say something amusing, you shouldn’t say anything at all. The purpose of any cultural artifact, whether Trek or criminal Rhode Island mayors or Microserf or fandom itself, is to provide material for smart remarks. While it may not be the apex of Western culture (then again, it may), sarcasm is very highly valued in my little subculture. As the scorpion said (in Jim’s review, at least), “it’s what I do.”

I still haven’t read the drafts on 31 or seen Buffy: The Musical!, because I went shopping tonight instead and got a nice pair of pants in my extraordinarily rare size for only $7.50. I love Filene’s Basement.

Just Say No to Blogback

Wednesday, October 31st, 2001

You may have noticed that I don’t have blogback comments here, even though I am highly capable on the funky blog stuff front (note the recent additions to the left) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with Liz’s blogbacks. I don’t like things you have to click to read, or that slow down page loading, or that tempt people to add comments like that’s cool, now visit my website at http://xxxx - but those are not the main reasons for my anti-blogback stance.

The real reason is that I don’t want to hear it. This is a Jemima-friendly web page, where I get my First Amendment right to rant without getting banned, moderated, kicked, blocked or otherwise infringed upon. There will be no C/7-bashing here, no BOFQ clique power trips, not a single slur against Jeri Ryan or Seven of Nine, and no talking back. I’ll just assume you’re a rational human being and you agree with me, so there will be no ditto posting. It has already been pointed out that this is all my opinion, so don’t even try. And if you’re on the receiving end of a rant, there’s no need to defend yourself because whatever it is, believe me, you’re not the only one who’s done it. I wish you were.

If you absolutely must speak, troll me on one of my lists or email me.

So, another marvellous idea of mine, which might have been lost forever in one of Liz’s blogbacks, had I not saved it and reproduced it here:

We could start a Zen fandom - no show, just fans, griping, bitterness…and, of course, a Virtual Non-Season.

Liz was looking for an innocent new fandom. I believe this is the only way…and what’s another moribund list between friends? Excuse me while I go set it up.