The accounting phase of Lost Gems of Yesteryear has come to a close. Thanks once again to the authors, the nominators, the voters, and the readers of e2. This was a fun and different quest to oversee. I hope that many of you discovered a new favourite writeup or writer!

Over the total span of the Quest, 556 total new votes (+500 / 56-) were cast on the writeups submitted to the Quest. The average increase in reputation for submitted writeups was 6.25 (median was 6, mode was 3). A single writeup lost overall reputation (by one point), all others gained at least one point.

The top writeup to gain in reputation, with a late surge, was For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her. Rounding out the top five were lateral fricative, Twenty-three good things about pickles and dirt, When life gives you lemons, grab it by the throat and demand better, and Panama hat.

The overall change in reputation looks like this (two symbols per writeup (><) to make it look nice):

  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1
                      0 1 2 3 4 5
Where the Y axis is net reputation change , and the X axis is number of writeups at that value. As a table:
Δ rep		# writeups
 -1		-1
  0		 0
  1		 5
  2		 6
  3		15
  4		10
  5		 8
  6		 7
  7		 9
  8		 7
  9		 3
 10		 3
 11		 1
 12		 0
 13		 2
 14		 1
 15		 0
 16		 0
 17		 1
 18		 1

In the somewhat incidental race for top promoter, the overall winner was ... me, with a Quest score of 46.5! I'll be sure to treat myself to something nice. Junkill finished only slightly behind at 44, with graceness coming from back in the pack to nose out shaogo at the wire, 39 to 38.5. Rounding out the top finishers were KilroyWasHere and TheGrocersApostrophe with 36 each. (It should be admitted that TheGrocersApostrophe is a secondary account of mine, which I shamelessly used to submit and promote a second 3 writeups.) XP bonuses will be dispensed soon, and I'll contact the winners in regard to suitable prizes. The prize bank account is a bit bare at the moment, so there may be plenty of Cheerios in the mail....

Thanks again to everyone who joined in the fun.

One Sentimental Moment in Your Arms

It was twenty years ago, at a Halloween party—crazy circumstance brought me together with a tall blonde, several years my junior and drop-dead gorgeous. Her educated sarcasm and penetrating gaze made me sigh.

I've always had a weakness for Very Beautiful Women. The worst thing about that is that my own parameters about what constitutes Very Beautiful are rather strangely defined, compared to our cultural stereotypes.

But back to my story. I was in love. I was the first stranger she'd ever come out to. I was one of the first people who had unquestioningly accepted her sexuality. She became one of the closest friends I've ever had.

Twenty years. Damn. It doesn't seem like that long.

She slept in my bed that night, and many nights since. We kept each other up all night. It was some of the most incredible conversing I'd ever had. The girl gives great conversation, and we've done it a lot since then.

When she stayed over, she would sleep in my bed. To awaken her in the morning, I would massage her broad shoulders, strong hands, and long legs. These experiences inspired me to a new career.

Since that time, a lot of women have come out to me—oddly enough, a lot of them were ladies I'd rather fancied. I have such consistent taste that I've wondered if I could use it as a form of gaydar. At this point, I frequently suspect that any woman I am crushing on may have something in common with my gorgeous blonde friend.

One young woman at work: tall, strong, intensely smart and sarcastic—she also looked a lot like my former lover. Said former lover also once enjoyed a love affair with a married woman. Stop me if it's getting too weird.

And so it goes! C'est la vie, c'est l'amour or something like that. It is far better to have made a lifelong friend than just some freaky nights of passion. Of course, once in awhile, you find both (remember that former lover I mentioned...)

Twenty years. It really hasn't seemed so long. Happy twentieth anniversary, Suki.

I have decided to write the world's least interesting daylog.

I almost forgot my packed lunch this morning and as it was, forgot my shades and barely went back for them from the car. They were necessary.

The school run is back. Summer roadworks are still in place. It took me 25 minutes to get out of Swindon.

An accident between Hungerford and Newbury had blocked the M4 solid, starting from Membury services. Actually getting to Newbury took from 7:55am to 8:40am. I did not get to work until 9:25am, having broken many laws of the road at least twice in order to manage even that.

At least it's sunny.

Dear Title 9 Sports,

I am a 43 year old woman/triathlete/writer and I'm just coming back to training after breast cancer treatment. I'm re-starting my training for the Wildflower triathlon and possibly the Mt. Shasta climb for the cure...and I NEED HELP. I need a jogbra that will hold a prosthetic comfortably (emphasis on comfortably), and a swimsuit that I can actually SWIM in. (Please do not tell me about Land's End. Yes, they make the only reasonably priced mastectomy suits in the US, but I do not want a granny suit for a triathlon, thank you very much anyhow.)

The modifications for a mastectomy suit top and bra are relatively simple and cheap, and I'm desperate. If you don't have one, will you please make them? I will glady volunteer to be your guinea pig/poster girl/bikini model/janitor for post-breast cancer female athletes. I swear if you do it there will be an audience for the products. One in seven women. One in four new cases of breast cancer are women 30-40 years old. We are everywhere, more than you know. Even one swimsuit top and one jogbra, I promise.

Thank you so much. Eagerly awaiting your response,


fall, 2010, update
Macy's blew it.

Title 9 was polite, but didn't come through.

IF you need a prosthetic, a swimsuit, a bra or jogbra that fits, and the nicest, most hilarious clerks to help fill out nightmares of insurance paperwork, go to Nordstrom. I went to the one in Sacramento, Arden Faire, and they were amazing. I'll never go back to Macy's.

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