11/24/01, 11:00 a.m. - Thanks to Dave, I should be getting a copy of the Buffy: Musical episode! He was able to find a copy on the net and download it, and is bringing a copy to work today. He works on the other side of the building. One thing that sucks about the cable system up here is the limited channels we get. No UPN, no Showtime. Ah, well, better than nothing, right?

Yesterday was a pretty good day in the mail. Bill Mumy has four solo cd's out there. I already have three of them, plus Barnes and Barnes, and Jenerators, etc. Well, yesterday I got the fourth of his solo cd's, meaning I've got them all! I got it in an auction on eBay for all of one cent. Well, there was shipping, but that was less than a dollar ... 80 cents, if memory serves. Not even a buck ... that's a LOT better than 20 bucks for the cd!

The other item was from Denise Gentile. If you're a B5 fan, you'll automagically remember her as Lise Hampton-Edgars-Garibaldi, Michael Garibaldi's future wife. If you're not a B5 fan, just know that she's one hell of an actress, and a very important "minor character" from the series.

That's one thing about B5. It's NOT about the major characters. Yes, they are there every episode, but there are characters who show up maybe once or twice a season, sometimes more (Jane), sometimes less (Draal), who really make the series what it is. On Star Trek: TNG, I would give examples like Mr. Mott, Alyssa Ogawa, and Guinan.

The autograph from Denise is part of the Season Five trading cards set. Each box of cards had one autograph in it. There are four women in that set that I want to have the cards for. They are: Dodger (Marie Marshall), Zoe (Bridget Flannery), Lise (Denise Gentile), and Adira (can't remember her name). I have two of them (Denise and Adira). Now, I need Dodger and Zoe. If you take a look at the list, you may notice a pattern there. It's not that they're women.

From the very beginning of the series, JMS had been trying to get scripts from two people. One was Harlan Ellison ("City on the Edge of Forever" - Classic Trek). The other was Neil Gaiman. Harlan's script never came, due to a heart attack and other things that crept up. Neil's, however, finally did come, halfway through the final season. Neil's episode, called "The Day of the Dead" is not an easy episode to watch from a fan's perspective.

JMS created very interesting, and loveable, characters. Adira, Dodger, Sinclair, Emperor Turhan, G'Kar, these are just a few examples of characters who have touched us, and then gone. In Neil's "Day of the Dead", the Brakiri have a ceremony that occurs once every 200 years. During this day (which actually happens at night, as they are night-dwellers), someone who has died will come back to you with a message, but only if you are on their homeworld. The Brakiri arrange to buy a portion of the Babylon station for one day, so that it will be technically part of the Brakiri homeworld, and therefore the ceremony can include those who live on the station.

Londo, who will become Emperor shortly, says that if he could talk to anyone who has died, it would be the first Emperor, as there are several things he'd like to discuss with the Emperor. Of course, he's joking, and when the time of the ceremony happens, the man does not show up. Londo is not surprised, and makes a few negative comments about the Brakiri, when he hears a voice from his past, coming from the next room. He turns around and there, waiting for him, is Adira Tyree, the only woman he ever loved, who died two years earlier.

For Garibaldi, Dodger returns. Dodger had been on the station only one time, but left a big impression not only on Garibaldi, but also on the viewers. Marie Marshall, who played Dodger, also guest-starred in the Star Trek: TNG episode "Starship Mine" with B5 regular Patricia Tallman.

The station's new captain, Elizabeth Lochley, is visited by someone from her past that we've never seen on the show. Her name is Zoe, and she was Lochley's ... friend ... when she was young, late teens and early twenties. They did things to survive that Lochley was not proud of, from prostitution to drugs, to things that aren't going to be discussed here. One day, Liz came home to find Zoe's body covered in insects, and her body lifeless. She never knew whether Zoe's death was an accident or if she had killed herself. She called her father, whom she had not spoken to for years. Her father showed up with a half-dozen off-duty marines from his platoon, and they took her stuff and moved her back home. With his help, she straightened her life around, joined the military, and ... lived.

Zoe's death affects her to this day. Her passcode on the station is two words: "Zoe's Dead." When Zoe asks her if she has any drugs they can party with, Liz tells her that she quit using that stuff after Zoe's death. Zoe asks "Geez, Lizzy, what did you grow up to be?" ... Liz's response "Alive".

Three of the four autographs that I want from the Fifth Season set are from that episode, people who had died and came back. The fourth is Lise Hampton, someone who was a minor character right there at the beginning, through the very end.

The next "big movie" is going to be Lord of the Rings. Burger King is doing a tie-in with the movie, with little toys in their happy meals. I saw a quick picture of them but not close-up, so I don't know if they're worth having. The other item is a set of four glasses. The glasses are actually glass goblets, and they light up! Only the first one is out right now (I've called around to several BK's to find out!) but each week they're supposed to be getting a new one in. A little patience and 2 bucks a week, and everything will be fine.

I'm about a third-way through book five of Savage Empire. I'm trying to pace myself, now that I'm well over halfway done. Winston Howlett co-wrote two of the books (4 and 6, I think. Maybe 4 and 7?). He also did the fanzine that I've talked about earlier, Wolf-Stone. I have written a letter to both Winston and to Jean Lorrah asking about that fanzine and if there are any plans (or if there were plans) to extend the series beyond the first seven, or if they will be reprinting any of the books.

At a time when 98% of the fiction published right now is pathetic trash, they need to publish some fiction that is well-told, well-written, and thought-provoking. I cannot count even a handfull of books that fit in that category within the last year.

I have not yet heard back from them (since I just sent the letters yesterday, it's not exactly surprising!), but when I do, I'll post the response(s).

My autograph collection is still growing. I have branched out into series other than Babylon 5 and Star Trek, although those remain the core of my collection. Scans that have been added recently, or will be posted soon include:

Liddy Holloway (Hercules, Herc's Mom Alcmene); Denise Gentile (Babylon 5, Lise Hampton); ??? (Babylon 5, Wade - can't remember the actor's name); Stephen Austin (Babylon 5, Pak'Ma'Ra Ambassador); Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5, G'Kar; ST:TNG, Tomolok); Peter Jurasik (Babylon 5, Londo Mollari); Wayne Alexander (Babylon 5, Drakh); Stewart Moss (Star Trek, Tormolen); June Lockhart (Babylon 5, Dr. Rosen; Lost in Space, Mother); Michael Pataki (ST:TNG, Karnas); Carolyn Seymour (Babylon 5, Senator; etc); Marjorie Monaghan (Babylon 5, Number One; etc); Marley McLean (ST: Voyager, Mezoti - one of the Borg kids. Now, just missing the oldest one); John Schuck (Babylon 5, Draal #2; Star Trek, Klingon Ambassador; etc); Paul Williams (Babylon 5, Ambassador's Aide "Acts of Sacrifice"); Emilie De Ravin (BeastMaster, Kurapira; Roswell, Tess); Jeff Corey (Babylon 5, Justin); Ryan Phillipe (I Know What You Did Last Summer); and Kristine Sutherland (Buffy, Joyce Summers).

In one of the files in the back of my mind, I have a wishlist for autographs, one that has grown over the last few years. Two of the people on the list above are from that list ... I think I'll call it the Uber-Wishlist. Denice Gentile and Wayne Alexander. Before that, Jeff Griggs was on that list, and I was really super happy to get his pix. I think I'll work on it tonight and post it tomorrow.

Yesterday was fun. Mom, Jim (stepdad), and Jolena (Mom's sister-in-law), and I went shopping on the day-after-Thanksgiving-run. It started out at 4, when we left for Omaha. Mom hadn't had much sleep. She was ... um ... (putting it mildly) nuts. She got better as the day carried on and she woke up. But then, there's a reason she's nicknamed Aunt Holiday. We went to K-Mart, and I thought the several hundred people in line at 5 in the morning was bad. We went in, looked for what we needed (including me getting the Hermione figure from Harry Potter!), and Mom and Jim got in line while Jolena and I went out to the van.

Shopko, the next store on our list, was giving away ornaments from the Rudolph tv-movie. There was the big Yukon guy, Rudolph, a female deer, and the little boy. The first 1000 people at each store was given one. Somehow the 4 of us ended up with 7 of them. We finished getting what we needed (including a double Star ornament that is way cool and the Ron Weasley figure from Harry Potter), and Mom and Jo got in line. They were in line at 6:45. At 9 am - over 2 hours later - they were finally able to check out. Shopko was insane! They didn't have near enough help, and it was complete chaos!

Jo had 2 things that she needed from Toys R Us - Monsters Inc sleeping bags for her kids. About 7:15, Jim and I went over to Toys R Us while mom and Jo stayed in line. I went inside. There was already a line just as long at this store as there was at Shopko. We figured that the Shopko line would move quicker than this line, so Jim went back to pick them up, and would come back to TRU and pick me up when they were done. It took me about 15 minutes to find what I needed, and do a little looking around. Between 6-11am that day, TRU was offering Toy Story figures for half price. Jolena's kids LOVE Toy Story (Especially Buzz Lightyear and Emperor Zurg). I picked up several figures for each of them (making sure that I got the same figures for both, so there wouldn't be any fighting), then got in line. About a half-hour later (8 am), I was done, standing outside the store and waiting. Of course, there were no chairs or benches or anything, and it was raining, but I waited for an hour for Jim, mom, and Jo. Mom and Jo were suitably impressed at the bounty I'd found, and hearing the two of them say "cool" over and over again was funny!

We did a bit more shopping before finishing the morning at Wendy's. They are giving out ornaments from "The Grinch" movie with Jim Carrey, including the Grinch himself in a 6-inch tall furry green oranment, with their kids meals. We stopped by, but the only one they had was a dinky little one with him driving the sled, which is ok, but not the cool one I was hoping we'd get for mom. I'm checking around with the various Wendy's to see if I can find a place that has the others. It worked with the Monsters Inc toys, it can work here!

As if I don't have enough things that I'm working on right now, I'm also working on my christmas card list. There are some people who I've sent emails out to, asking for their addresses cuz I don't have them, or can't remember them. If you'd like a card, send me an email with your name and postal mailing address. I can't very well send it to your email address!

I've been having problems with my computer. It will connect to the net, but won't do anything from there. My first suspicion turned out to be correct. The @home software rewrote parts of the computer's software, and won't let it connect to anything but @home. I've copied off everything I wanted from it (16 cd's worth), and soon the hard drive will be wiped and set up again. At that point, I'll be able to connect to the net again with my computer instead of having to get in a few quick minutes here and there at the library or imposing on mom's computer.

It'll be nice playing UT (Unreal Tournement) online again. It's a great graphical game that can be played stand-alone (single player) or against other people through a net connection. I've been playing against the computer, but I miss playing against other people, so it's time to go find other people to frag (UT term for "kill") online!

Ok, this update's long enough.

"Questions? Comments?" - Vampire Willow, "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer"

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