These are the three writeups I suggested to Lord Brawl for inclusion on the Lost Gems of Yesteryear master list. They were added and linked in his most recent daylog, so I will now do my very best to persuade you to read them, enjoy them and, one hopes, get as much out of them as I have. Two will very likely be recognized by avid noders. The third is less well known, despite being one of my personal favourites.

  1. jessicapierce's Do you remember how small your body was when you were five? is not an underlooked writeup by any stretch of the imagination. When I asked for it to be added to the master list, it had already been C!ed 28 times. Its reputation is well into the triple digits. It is easily one of the most heartwrenching and well-written pieces on E2, yet, until I submitted it for inclusion in this quest, it hadn't been C!ed in at least six months. I can't imagine what it must have been like to go through this. I don't work with kids and don't have any real contact with young children very often. I do have friends who have had experiences with parents and adults who have been abusive in one way or another. It touches me for so many reasons.

  2. kthejoker's Ghosts I have known was one of the first writeups I C!ed when I hit level 4. As some of my earlier daylogs attest, I have been deeply affected by my maternal grandmother's -- the woman who gave up her retirement home in the country so she could take care of me when my mother's maternity leave ended -- health failures and severe memory loss. I originally came across this writeup when I was writing those daylogs, during the days when we first had to move my grandmother to a nursing home after she broke her hip in a nasty fall and my grandfather just couldn't take care of her anymore. Whenever I saw her from that point on she was speaking convincingly of family and friends long dead as though they were really there. This writeup was a great comfort to me because I understand, and broke my heart because I wish I didn't.

  3. KokiriKid's girl geek has been one of my favourites for years, but it certainly needs some more recognition. The writeup describes a lady geek, someone who relates better to men than to women and eventually becomes "one of the guys," as it were. I always felt like that, particularly in high school. I liked computers and progrock; I could rattle off obscure Monty Python and The Simpsons references at any given time. I was never, in the eyes of my equally geeky friends, seen as a girl. This went on for years, and I never really realized it was happening until I read this writeup. Years later, when I started dating my boyfriend, he once called me his "geek princess" and I realized it was the first time I'd been recognized as a "girl geek" rather than one of the guys. I thought of this writeup then, of the girl geek who sits sadly in the computer lab and tries to pretend that her geek friends' inability to see her as both a girl and a geek isn't breaking her heart. There is hope.

Those were the three I chose to submit, but since other people are suggesting other lost gems for your reading pleasure, so shall I:

  1. Have you read bewilderbeast's And would you do this thing for me? Land softly, yeah, land softly? Well, you should. I would say more about it but I don't want to spoil it for you. Just go, already. Then read Panty Regents of the Planet Vajj. I believe it may well be the first (possibly only, and almost certainly the best) writeup on E2 that employs the phrase "quantum dildo."

  2. SharQ's To what degree does a journalism education benefit a career in print journalism? is an epic -- not only because it clocks in at a whopping 8,800 words, but because it argues that you don't need to go to journalism school in order to be a journalist. This was the fourth writeup I ever C!ed (the first was SharQ's similarly themed journalism, which is also worth a read). It is the ultimate node your homework writeup.

  3. There is no E2 song parody greater than "We Didn't Stir the Nodegel" by Timeshredder (and possibly by Billy Joel. A little). I was flattered to make an appearance (in the first line of the last verse, right after bewilderbeast). I had a different username then, of course, but fortunately the old one has the same number of syllables as the new one -- so up-to-date drunken renditions of the song should not be aversely affected.

  4. dannye's Queen Jane Approximately. To say anything else about it would only detract from it.

  5. Finally, Adam Walker's If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you is funny. Also funny: he and I became acquainted on E2 because we went to the same university, then were in an Elizabethan English history course together for an entire term and only realized it right before the exam. Life's strange like that.

Shall I describe for you disappointment? What it feels like? Have you ever been disappointed? I could say it is sadness, but that's not quite right. It is a variation on a sadness. It's a shade of sadness colored with let down, darkened in along the edges with a missing. It is tinted in the furrows of the brow with some wistful. The eyes are painted with "I wish it would have been different". The heart gains the feeling of a few more ounces, while the shoulders dip in resignation. The mouth utters a sigh.

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I had a crush on this one boy (eons ago it feels). He came to mind last night. I have not thought of him in over 25 years. The town he used to live in flashed across the news channel, and boom, there was his name in my mind. This boy, I thought, was like a tanned Adonis. I was 14, I think, at the time of this crush. He played soccer. I was very much obsessed with soccer at this age, the same age as burgeoning hormones and crushes. I didn't just play soccer, I lived and breathed it. I went through the training and became a referee as well. I had heard somewhere that he was a lifeguard during the summer in his town by the shore.

So anyway, here was this tan, sun-bleached blonde specimen about my age with legs perfectly sculpted from the sport. Two obsessions were combined in one perfect body. I volunteered to travel to games where I knew he would be playing in. I ran the lines with yellow flags, just to catch a glimpse of this boy who played with such skill. I never expected him to notice me. He did, once. He was just as obsessed with the sport as I. He also became a referee. One game, a younger state semi-final game, we both ended up at. I almost fainted when he smiled at me, in recognition. "Hey, I know you, you did a lot of my games". He had the most beautiful smile. The crush lasted about two summers. I never came up with the guts to say anything about said crush. Too shy.

At any rate, his name comes back to mind, and so for kicks and giggles, I search him online, to see what he's been up to. He continued his soccer career in college, did quite well. He settled in the state of his college. I saw a picture of him with that same smile, but he has aged. Crinkle lines around his eyes, laugh lines around his mouth. But what got to me was that he was convicted of forgery. Forgery. This boy who I thought was the sun and the moon and the stars (for a period of two summers) had apparently become, a bad boy . I should have left the memory alone. It is like my childhood fairy tale has now been tarnished. Another childhood fantasy with black squiggles smeared across the pages of time. Disappointing.

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Today, also, I felt this. I have favorites. We all have favorites. I discovered one of my favorite e2 author's, yossarian, has only three pieces left posted. One of them I recommended for an earlier podcast . And another, Work within the limitations of the medium, I have submitted to Lost Gems of Yesteryear. You see, I like to dig into my favorites, go back again and again to reread words. It's like never growing tired of favorite movies. You could watch them again and again. It's like hearing your favorite bedtime story as a child. "Just ONE more time, Mama! Pleeeeeease?" And now they aren't here.

It doesn't matter the reason, I don't have to be understanding, because disappointment isn't about understanding, it's about a feeling, which is not a logical thing. There are all sorts of reasons for a why, but any of those reasons do not lessen the actual feeling. It is what it is. So today, I am colored in shades of sadness, because I no longer have some of my favorite stories to go back to again and again just to breathe in the feelings evoked. I have only the wisps of once upon a time. Think on it as how an alzheimer patient might feel if she were aware of each memory slipping away one by one. It is something she may have an inkling that should be there, but now it is not. It is out of her grasp. It is something beyond her control. Nonetheless, it is loss. This is what it feels like to me.

I urge you to go read the remaining yossarian pieces. It will be well worth your time.

I have so much to say, and nowhere to say it. Nowhere, save where it should really be directed. Isn't that true of so much of life? We stare out of some window somewhere, watching dark hints turn to purple bruise and sudden splash, crossing sand, crossing territory, moving somewhere new. Explorers of the night, but unwilling; a metaphor for life and waves and something new that we can never be.

I recently began to seek out Harlan Ellison books; anything I could get my hands on. Harlan's fond of his forewords, and in a funny twist of fate it reminds me of some of the writing we have on e2. Writing I'd downvote in an instant. His stories, too, they're often strange, unpredictable beasts. Perhaps I'm not appreciating them properly, but to my mind being trained to appreciate something is akin to learning to love lettuce when you're on a diet; there's so much else out there that tastes better, so why gnaw on the padding?

A Boy And His Dog was what inspired me, though The Whimper Of Whipped Dogs was a long-memesorbed story that may even have influenced my own writing long before I ever came across the film version of Harlan's novella. They call it a novella; I'd call it a long short story. But you can read 3,000 words and not notice, sometimes. Harlan does make each word count; I'll give him that.

But The Beast That Shouted Love At The Heart Of The World. I've missed the point, I think, or maybe I got the point but just missed the storytelling, which seemed banal, maybe even trite. It's the title piece of the book, I know, but even Greg Egan's fallen foul of this - his short story collection Luminous featured an eponymous story that was good, but by no means the best. Mitochondrial Eve or even that one about Chernobyl was better.

This afternoon I attended a classical concert. I took a bottle of cava with me to ensure my full enjoyment, but I'm pleased to say I'd have enjoyed the first half anyway. The second half was a little less baroque and a little more jazz, but still had hints of folk to it that made it bearable. Mind you, I came across The Elysian Quartet who've been performing a piece by Gabriel Prokofiev - that's not theProkofiev, just his grandson. I'd advise him to stop, just stop now, but then I've only heard a little, as the sound of his grandfather rapidly revolving in his grave drowned out most of the thirty second previews on iTunes.

That said, I downloaded Drive the other night, by some band called The Cars. It's one of those classic eighties things, and it drew something out of my partner, Jan, that I've never felt before. We met once while it was playing, and it kind of pushed me into an eighties revival orgasm once he'd started. He was like an animal, fucking away, and I just couldn't help myself; I shot about a gallon of cum. Still, there you go.

Mother's fine. She's settling into her new flat fine, and she doesn't seem to mind the neighbours too much. I think they're druggies, but I had a quick puff of their 'cigarette' to be polite (I didn't inhale much) and I see their point of view, although I must say the world went dizzy for a few moments and reminded me of lighter times. She might be okay if they keep an eye out; there's no reason for them to nick from her I don't think. They helped us unload her DVD player thing and her widescreen telly. She's got one of those LCD ones because she says her bifocals play havoc with the plasma ones in the shops. So she says; I'd feel more respect if she just said she was sitting on granddads pension and might as well spend it. The druggies seemed to like it, anyhow, and when she turned it on one of them scurried upstairs for a Deep Space Nine CDVDV or something. They shoved it in - well, one of them did - and bugger me if Nan didn't like it. She says the wormhole reminds her of when she looks at the chip shop lights without her glasses on. They say she can borrow them all, but I'm suspicious of the lot of them all coming down to watch. But she does have an inside sit-down toilet now, anyway. So that's good.

Mom died one year ago today. I put flowers on the first Saturday of the month, though, so she's kind of missed this year. Miss you, too.

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