Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive XLI
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag's Sweat Box

Saturday, August 02, 2003
Test Post 

This is just a test post to check some changes I've made to my template. I'm also starting to work on my Hubby-Eric's Blog so that he can have the ease of just writing whilst I do the fiddly bits with editing and saving the template.

posted by Tegan | 10:57 PM


Random Bits

The Aquaman Video Game is now shipping for Nintendo Gamecube and XBox. I have neither system, so I probably won't get the game despite my high interest. If you do get it, and would like to write a review for me, please do. I have some preview images of the game on my website, sent to me from the team who worked on it.

Found a link somewhere to this very interesting Censored Looney Tunes Page. This simply lists the bits of various cartoons that have been cut out over the years, presumably for the violent content. It can be a very interesting read just to see what modern censors disapprove of that the original audiences weren't bothered by.

There's a new virus out, check out the info on, and remember to NEVER open any attachment to an e-mail unless you know who it's from and are expecting the attachment.

Want an electric car? I do, and The Tango is a Pacific Northwest invention I wish would get into production. There's a couple of articles about this new car in The Seattle Times, the one I'm linking to has lots of pictures of the thing. I want one in blue or purple. It would be ideal for my short commute.

posted by Tegan | 6:31 PM


Harry Potter Artwork

There is some very good Harry Potter fan art at artdungeon. I would have mentioned this artist earlier, but according to Marta's LiveJournal, the mention on The Leaky Cauldron caused so many hits that she had to take the page down or risk fees of over $1500. Ouch. Anyway, I've put up a tiny sample here of one of the pictures to give you an idea what kind of artwork it is. And don't worry, she has a new web host who will hopefully handle any overload.

posted by Tegan | 10:51 AM

Friday, August 01, 2003  


I have updated and re-arranged my links on the sidebar quite a bit. I hope nobody minds. I'm trying to make them easier for me to use, since they are basically my list of must-visit daily links. My top six is now six again, as Elayne has been given her long-overdue re-promotion back up to the top. The order of those six doesn't matter much. They are the most excellent blogs I link to, and worth visiting daily (or more often).

The big changes are down below. I've added Sean Collins' All Too Flat and Brooke Biggs' Bitter Shack of Resentment to my personal blog links, as well as moving The Leaky Cauldron up because it's a fun one, too. Just in case I forgot to shout them out already, Glenn Given and Paul J. were added awhile ago. Another new link is to the bare bones Dave's Rants page, probably my favorite comic book reviewer on the 'net.

I moved all the political stuff way down, nearer to the terror alerts and below the Bookshop that nobody ever uses. I added Pete Welsch down there because he's more political than not, and since Arthur Silber put his blog on hiatus, I added Billmon's Whiskey Bar for that dose of cold reality. I added a link to Daryl Cagle's Cartoon Web Log which links to daily political cartoons and is worth visiting often. On a more somber not, my Remember page is based on the Vietnam Memorial and is updated thanks to the efforts of the Iraq II Coalition Deaths Website. No, I don't think Iraq is "another Vietnam". Yet. But I think it's very important to remember those who've died there. I would do a similar virtual memorial for the soldiers we have lost and are still losing in Afghanistan if I knew how to look up their names.

I've also added a link to Blogshares, but I'm apparently not valuable enough to be listed yet. Indeed, I wonder if it will ever happen, or if I'm supposed to do something to trigger it. Whatever, it's funny. Elayne also directed my attention to Blogtree, which charts the pedigree of blogs. Since my blog is a direct child of Elayne's blog, I added myself into the tree.

Whew. So that's the house-keeping. What do you think?

posted by Tegan | 9:53 PM

Comments (1)

Funny, I was wondering how I'd catagorize my site the other day. Thanks! Might have to gank that Javascript, too...

Posted Sat 2 Aug 07:45 AM by Pete (


How We Think About Other People

A while back I got a very nice e-mail about a poem I wrote in college. The poem itself is nothing special. While re-reading the Norse myths, I was intrigued by Loki's wife. Loki, at the end, is the greatest villian in Norse myth. Before that, though, he was a strong part of the pantheon, the necessary trickster god. And he had a wife and children.

You might say, what kind of woman would marry Loki? Well, there was only one consistent attribute that Sigyn is given in all the myths. "Faithful". Sigyn is faithful to Loki. Hang about, I thought, we're talking about the god of mischief here, why is she so faithful to him?!? After thinking about her, and her role in the latter part of the myths, it occurred to me that she's more than just faithful.

See, after Loki used trickery to kill Balder (and further trickery to make sure he stayed dead), he gave a nice speech about the other gods that exposed all their hypocrisy and human-like weaknesses. Enraged, the Norse Pantheon hunted Loki and his sons down, and used one son to kill the other, then tied Loki in a cave with the entrails of his own son (eeeuuuwww!). Tying up Loki wasn't enough, though. The Norse gods then suspended a serpent dripping venom over Loki's face as a torture. When the venom drips into his face, the pain is so great that Loki shudders causing earthquakes. In order to prevent that, Sigyn holds up a wooden bowl over Loki's face, collecting the poison. Every once in awhile she has to dump it, and there are earthquakes when she does. Eventually, due to the pain, Loki will break free, and Ragnarok will start. (For a good introduction to the Norse myths, check out The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Once you've been introduced, use the book's bibliography to find even more stuff.)

Sigyn is protecting the world from Loki. She's got this wooden bowl, and she's stopping earthquakes with it. And, if that weren't enough, she's also holding off the apocalypse by keeping Loki from the intense pain that will break him free. One woman, doing all that. Yeah, she's a Norse goddess, but she's got to be one of the most underrated people in all of mythology. She's literally holding Ragnarok in her hands.

So I wrote the poem. The biggest problem with it is the introduction. The Norse myths just aren't well enough known for the poem to make sense without some sort of explanation. I suppose that should have told me that I picked a poor topic for a poem, but my poetry has always been for myself first, and that's who I was writing this one for. This is a story about a woman who has the weight of the world on her shoulders, but does her job. She persists. She makes it through. She is, despite her poor choice of husband, to be admired.

I put the poem in my collection, posted it with the rest when I learned HTML, and forgot about it (mostly). Until I got the very nice e-mail.

The e-mail was from a self-proclaimed Loki worshipper, asking permission to reprint the poem.

My first thought was How on Midgard would anyone be nuts enough to worship LOKI of all the Norse gods?!??? And my second thought was Somebody likes that poem! Cool! I seem to recall responding fairly quickly with a "Sure, just keep my name and the copyright notice with the poem." I don't recall asking why this person was insane enough to worship the Norse god of chaos and evil. I also allowed that, if the audience was familiar with the Norse myths, he could drop the clumsy introduction in his reposting of the poem.

I got back what I recall was an incredible dissertation on my poetry, including the intro itself, that simply blew me away. This guy had found things in my poem that I don't recall trying to state consciously (although I'll admit I could have been putting some of those ideas in subconsciously). I was bowled over by the enthusiasm and joy which my humble little effort had brought, and I know I must have replied in some completely inadequate way to his thoughts. I was reminded of a movie I once saw, you might recognize this, in which a rich guy goes back to college and hires Kurt Vonnegut Jr to write his paper on Kurt Vonnegut Jr's books. The teacher was unimpressed with the paper, and the poor writer was fired. This was how I felt at the moment. My poem was being taken in a completely different direction, and I couldn't keep up. Would I even want to keep up? It obviously brought some sort of joy to someone, and that is a good thing. Who am I to want to stop a good thing?

Coming back down to earth, I was thinking about this incident yesterday when I was going through my links on Site Meter. I was very amused that someone had done a Google Search on "Laura Gjovaag" and I started looking through the links, mostly enjoying them. There's even some pictures of me out there that I didn't realize existed. When I got down to the end of the 100 links I had Google show me, I found a link to a blog that... well, let's say this guy ripped me apart. He made fun of my Aquaman website, implied that I'm some sort of freak for liking Aquaman, and insulted me up one side and down the other. All for my harmless hobby. Think about it. This guy took out the time to rip me to shreds and stomp on the pieces because he thinks my hobby is lame. I got myself worked up into a self-righteous fury. How DARE he say that I'm pathetic when he's the one wasting time insulting someone because of their hobby. I was going to post some truly nasty comments about it when suddenly the memory of the Loki worshippers popped into my head.

Wow, I can sure get worked up over someone thinking I'm insane to like Aquaman, I thought, but think about how I mentally put down the Loki folks when I got that note. True, I didn't post about them and publicly make fun of them, but I sure thought it. After reading about them I understand their stance a little better, something I didn't bother to do when first confronted with the fact that there are people out there who worship Loki.

So my perspective is shifted a little. The Loki folks know that people are going to think them insane. They understand why some undereducated people will consider them little better than Satanists. And frankly, they've got it a lot worse than me. They actually worship Loki... I'm just a fan of Aquaman, a hobbyist. I take Aquaman a lot less seriously than they take Loki.

And, when it comes right down to it, the blogger picking on me because of my Aquaman fandom is simply misdirected. I've been working on that website for over seven years. There's a lot of garbage on it, and there's a lot to laugh at. Because, when you get right down to it, Aquaman is funny. And the history of Aquaman is pretty amusing too. What that guy failed to note is that I KNOW that. He pokes fun at me as if I take all the Aquaman stuff completely seriously, and live my life by the Aquaman code, and spend all my waking hours thinking only about Aquaman. I don't. I do have a lot of emotional baggage invested in that website, and reading someone's gleeful insults at my work is not easy nor comfortable. I won't pretend that it doesn't bother me. But it's hardly the end of the world. And, in this particular case, the guy actually checked out quite a bit of my website. Heh, who's wasting time now?

At the core of it, I've got it easy. Aquaman is a hobby, not a lifestyle, and that's easy to defend. Yeah, he's an easy target for people who don't have the imagination or skill to poke fun at better-liked hobbies, but that just comes with the territory. They consider me lame for liking Aquaman, fine... I can't think of anything much more pathetic in the world of on-line flaming than someone who wastes their creative efforts making fun of Aquaman and his fans.

And so it goes. My poem is still out there, as are the Loki folks. My Aquaman website is out there, as are the hateful insults to it and me. The internet world grows bigger every year, and more folks will join and add their intelligence and stupidity to the whole messy lot. It's a strange virtual world we live in. The rules haven't been worked out all the way. But when I can read the thoughts of a guy in Baghdad thinking about William Gibson, or get a note from a guy in Brazil who also likes Aquaman... I'm thinking it's a good thing. Who am I to want to stop a good thing?

posted by Tegan | 11:47 AM

Comments (3)

Don't pay too much attention to that asshole. It's a kneejerk, cynical wannabe-hip thing to make fun of the Aquaman character ("He talks to fish!" Ooh! What a biting cynical wit those jerks have). Anybody with any hip cachet at all knows better.

Posted Fri 1 Aug 07:47 PM by Johnny Bacardi ( -

Oh, and by the way...if you've read Sandman, you may remember that the character of Loki's wife has made appearances on a couple of occasions, most recently in Mike Carey's Lucifer.

Posted Fri 1 Aug 07:48 PM by Johnny Bacardi

Actually, I haven't read Sandman

I would like to, eventually, but it hasn't been a high priority. I think I've read the first trade and nothing more, except the Shakespeare issue.

As for people making fun of Aquaman... I just wish they'd come up with something more creative than "Ooh, he needs water, so he's lame" and "Oooh, he talks to fish, so he's lame". The joke has been repeated so many times, it's just not funny at all. I think the funniest Aquaman joke I've seen in a long time was Aquaman at a swimming pool being, um, bad. It was cute, original, and had nothing to do with talking to fish or needing water to live.

Oh well. Such is the life I've chosen.

Posted Fri 1 Aug 09:00 PM by Laura


One Fish, Two Fish...

Here's some Dr Seuss like you've never seen him. Political cartoons from WWII. Link via Journalista.

posted by Tegan | 8:50 AM

Thursday, July 31, 2003  


Whether or not you support this war in Iraq, please Remember the people who are dying for your freedom, in your name, in Iraq. Every day.

posted by Tegan | 7:15 PM


Rapid Reviews - 30 July 2003 - Part II

Usagi Yojimbo #68: Ah, the most consistent book on the pull list. This issue doesn't quite live up to last issue's perfect middle story, but it's darn close. If nothing else, Usagi's artwork and the reference to his past adventures was great. And this tale really emphasizes that the pen (er, paintbrush) is mightier than the sword. 4 starfish

Empire #1: eeeeeeeuuuuw. Gore. Somehow, I never really thought this series would show the progression it is already showing. I guess that's an artifact of my first reading of the first two issues so long ago. For a series to be really good, you need to feel sympathy for at least one of the characters, and preferably identify with that character. I haven't found any character I like in this series yet. 3 1/2 starfish

Leave It To Chance: Shaman's Rain: Way back when on Free Comic Book Day, I read the free Leave It To Chance and was completely and utterly hooked. Hubby-Eric wasn't inclined to spend money we didn't have buying new comic books, so I desisted and waited. When Eric got his new contract for next year, though, one of the first things I did was ask Paige to order the first two volumes of Leave It To Chance for me. They arrived yesterday. I couldn't wait, and read the first one very quickly. I meant to save the second for later, but this is SO GOOD, I couldn't wait. This is all-ages fun, good for the guys or the girls. The art is wonderful. The story movement is strong. I strongly recommend this book to anyone. At $15 for an oversized hardcover reprinting the first four issues, this is a bargain worth checking out. Go on, what are you waiting for? 4 1/2 starfish

Leave It To Chance: Trick or Threat & Other Stories: The first collection was a single story, showing how Chance got into her father's business. This second collection has three stories, including the story that was in the Free Comic Book Day Leave It To Chance. It also introduces some new characters who work well with Chance and Georgie. This book is a winner. Go get it. 4 1/2 starfish

The next collection, Leave It To Chance: Monster Madness, is in the current Previews magazine (AUG03 1219) or can be ordered through any good bookstore (my link here is to Again, I highly recommend this book to any readers, especially to younger readers.

Already done with this week's books. It was a small week, even with the extras. Next week's list is bigger: Detective Comics, Batman: Nevermore, Superman: Birthright, Formerly Known As The Justice League, JSA: All-Stars, Justice League Adventures, Faction Paradox, and Supreme Power. That's only eight books, but their titles are long.

posted by Tegan | 7:01 AM

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - 30 July 2003 - Part I

JLA #83: Oh. My. If you are a conservative who supports Bush, DO NOT READ THIS ISSUE OF JLA (unless you'd like to think of Bush as Lex Luthor). This whole issue is just one big editorial about Iraq war II. As much as I agree with some of the thinking presented within, this isn't the right forum for it, and as a JLA comic book it does not work for me, even with the "twist" ending that is supposed to make it all better. 2 starfish

Green Lantern #167: The wrap up to a promising story is ok, and we get to see more of the current GL of Earth... so why does it feel like this series is now missing a key element? 3 1/2 starfish

Still up for review: Usagi Yojimbo and Empire. And something else.

posted by Tegan | 6:01 PM


For Ultimate Collectors Only

Get a load of the items in this auction. Wow. Fun stuff to look at. Be sure to check out all eight pages. Wow.

posted by Tegan | 10:10 AM

Comments (1)

Mystique's breasts are only $125 a piece?! You've GOT to be kidding me!

Posted Wed 30 Jul 03:05 PM by Frank ( -


Rapid Reviews - 23 July 2003 - Part II

Futurama Comics #14: This book can be read seven different ways. It's equally silly every way. But it's a pleasant sort of silly. 3 1/2 starfish

Crossovers #7: Definitely another set-up issue. I trust that things will get more exciting in the next few issues. I can see that this book will be strong issues followed by spectacular issues, then back to strong issues for awhile. 3 1/2 starfish

JLA: Liberty and Justice Preview: Many many thanks to Victor, who picked one of these previews up for me at San Diego. This is just a six page preview of the book, which will be out in November. What makes it such a great collector's item for me is that the cover of the San Diego Comic-Con version features Aquaman (taken from the poster that will come out with the book). As for the preview itself, it's pretty good. Alex Ross' artwork is easy on the eyes and he's always best with a great story to back him up, and Paul Dini is nothing if not a great storyteller. 4 starfish

I hope Usagi Yojimbo shows up today, as well as Empire, Green Lantern, and JLA.

posted by Tegan | 8:34 AM

Tuesday, July 29, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - 23 July 2003 - Part I

Birds of Prey #57: I don't like Huntress, but she works ok in this context. Overall, not bad. I'm not sold on this yet, but it isn't as stupid as I was afraid it would be. 3 1/2 starfish

JLA: Scary Monsters #5: At one point in this series, I liked it much more than the regular JLA book. Reading this issue, I'm not sure how that happened. Well, besides the fact that the regular JLA book has gotten pretty bad. This issue is nothing to write home about. It's ok, but the sheer brilliance that made me like the earlier issue is gone. 3 starfish

Outsiders #2: If not for the last page, this issue would get the same two starfish as the last issue. Because of the last page, it gets two and a half instead. 2 1/2 starfish

Still to go: Crossovers and Futurama.

posted by Tegan | 7:31 PM


Complaining About The Weather

As you may have noted in the past, I live in the Seattle area. I was born and raised here, and this is the only place I can imagine living. I'm sure I would survive elsewhere, but this is my home. I learned early on in life not to say I'm from "Washington" because everyone always just assumes I'm talking about DC (even though Washington State wasn't named "Columbia" because, get this, it would be confused with the District of Columbia. Argh). For my purposes, "Seattle" is practically a state. I dislike Eastern Washington. One of my worst childhood memories is visiting relatives in Eastern Washington, and being stuck in a snowstorm (I sometimes wonder if I made that memory up, it's so miserable).

Anyway. The weather around here is mild. Very mild. Temperatures generally range from just above freezing to the low 70s most of the year. We don't get a lot of snow, maybe a big snowstorm once every five years or so. And hot days are rare. For that matter, sunny days are fairly rare, too. Seattle has cloud cover most of the time, which has earned it the false reputation that it rains all the time.

So when a weather pattern moves in that brings our temperatures up to the 80s and 90s, the natives wilt. I'm sure the folks who are from other areas love it, but people like me just wish it would get back down to a comfortable 70 degrees and wish that the sun would find a cloud to hide behind.

I'm uncomfortable right now, sitting in my house. But I just went out to get the mail, and it was WAY hotter outside. I noticed that we don't have a lawn anymore, just some hardy dandelions and clumps of brown ex-grass. In my t-shirt and shorts I was sweltering. I felt like I'd stepped into an oven. Coming back into the house was like walking into a freezers, until my body adjusted enough to start complaining how hot it is in here again.

Now, I know that this is nothing compared to other areas. I suppose you all think I'm a weather wimp. I don't consider myself a weather wimp, as I can handle cold weather just fine, and I still haven't figured out why people need umbrellas (what, is a little water gonna hurt yah?) But this weather just irritates me. I want to function properly, not fall over and wilt because I'm just a little too hot. So, because misery loves company, I want you to tell me your "bad weather" stories now. If the comments are working, go ahead. Spill yer guts. Complain away. What kind of weather do YOU hate?

posted by Tegan | 4:03 PM


Slow Start Today

Breakfast at 2:30pm isn't a good idea. I have webwork to get done and I'm still not fully awake. I hate it when I get too hot to sleep. Summer isn't my favorite season.

More later...

posted by Tegan | 3:17 PM

Monday, July 28, 2003  

Thanks For The Memories

Bob Hope - 1903 to 2003 - Now is off to entertain another crowd. Good luck, the world was better because you were here. You won't be forgotten, rest in peace.

posted by Tegan | 10:05 AM

Sunday, July 27, 2003  

Ah, Rest.

The pugs have been mostly good today. Buddy spotted other dogs on the late afternoon walk and went into his 'macho pug' stance. It was too hot for too much macho posturing, though. I noticed that Buster managed to find any pug-sized shaded areas to walk in, even when I had to walk in the sun.

Eric is in the air as I write this, apparently getting close to Seattle if the flight-tracker is telling the truth. I have a very small desire to go out and see if I can see his plane coming in. Like I'd be able to identify it. No guarantee that it will even fly over Seattle to come into the airport from the North.

Just before Hubby-Eric left home the other day, he turned off his computer. I was on my computer composing a blog entry. For some reason, the entry didn't save properly, and I lost it. When I wandered home the next day to get the mail and newspaper, I tried to access the internet from my computer, but couldn't connect for some reason. After trying everything I could on my computer, I went to check the cable modem and router. Duh. They were off. They were apparently connected to Eric's power strip, so when he turned off his computer, he cut off my connection to the 'net. Ooops. I decided to not bother turning it all back on, but I've been thinking of how to tell him nicely that he made me lose a blog entry without going into "annoying nagging wife" mode. Heh. Maybe this will do it.

I've been re-reading the Vorkosigan series by Bujold. Fun stuff. I just finished "A Civil Campaign" which is wildly romantic as well as incredibly funny. In fact, it was much more amusing on this re-read as I got some of the nuances I think I missed the first time I read it. The best part of the book is the dinner-party-from-heck, in which everything that can possibly go wrong, and a few things that couldn't go wrong, manage to explode in the most delightfully twisted way possible. It all culminated in the arrival at the end of the party by some impartial observers whose comments on the proceedings made me laugh so hard the pugs were frightened. I had remembered enjoying the book when I first read it, but I don't remember it being nearly so funny. Maybe I'm just finding it easier to laugh at stuff these days.

The flight tracker says that Eric's flight is on the ground. I'm just waiting now for him to call. I will then rush down to the airport in Sunday evening traffic to pick him up at the baggage claim. Better that than waiting just beyond the security checkpoints at the airport. I hated that, the last time I went to pick him up after a flight. There was no place to sit, and a ton of people waiting for a ton of flights. It was nutty.

Well, I guess I'd better be ready for that call. Until next time...

posted by Tegan | 7:22 PM


Today... Nothing

The pugs woke me up by knocking something over downstairs, so I ended up growling at them as I took them out. But now they are fed and snuffling around my feet hoping I'll drop more food to them, which would be a neat trick as I'm not eating anything at the moment.

Today's plans include sleeping, reading a book or two, more sleeping (as much as the pugs will tolerate), resting, watching the M's game, and more reading. Hopefully the pugs will behave.

In my plans for future blogs when I get home and have a computer I'm comfortable with: a post on the crackdown of internet piracy, something intelligent about Blog-A-Thon 2003 (check out Elayne Riggs' participation, wow! Maybe I'll be her designated blogger next year), and my rapid reviews. Yeah, I've read my week's comics, but I don't want to write my reviews here with pugs snuffling on my legs (and I really wish Buster would stop sneezing on me... pug snot! Yuck!).

I'll also be checking in on the grandparents who live downstairs. It really is a good thing I'm here. While the pugs are the apparent reason, my mother-in-law said that if her parents didn't live downstairs, she would just kennel the pugs when they went on trips. Having me take care of the pugs is a good excuse for me to be around to support the grandparents. Since Grandma is getting over a bout of bad health, it's been very good for me to be here. I was able to lend a much-needed hand on Friday night, when Grandma got a little sick and failed to tell Grandpa about it. I had just come down to check on them when I discovered the problem and made Grandma lie down while I cleaned up. She was trying to get it all clean by herself. Why make her do it when there's young strong hands in the house?

The weather has been fantastic around here. Warm, but not hot. Sunshine ('the burning cloud that makes the rest of the clouds turn blue!') and light breezes. It's actually a nice time to live in Seattle. Even the walks with the pugs aren't too bad.

Well, I'm off to sleep, read, and do whatever else I must do. See ya.

posted by Tegan | 7:10 AM