Friday, April 30, 2004

What's Funny

Solonor should be more careful when he listens to Morning Edition. I have listend to the same series, but I didn't let it make ME do any thinking.

No, I held out until HE started on about things, and now I'm thinking, and I soooo COULD be fighting bad guys and zooming around Paragon City and....ah, hell, anyway.

My Funny Five:

1) Groucho Marx. Yeah, I know, copying, but *I* have actually read several of Groucho's books. I think I actually spent money on them. Memoirs of a Mangy Lover is cover to cover Classic Groucho.
2) Monty Python -- in particular, John Cleese. Graham Chapman would be second, only he's dead. Eric Idle was just a lust object for my younger years, Michael Palin was cute, and Terry Jones...irritated me. I can't explain it. I'm sure he's a nice person. But I'm all about John.
3) Whoopie Goldberg -- before she went Hollywood. I still have the video of her first HBO special, taped from her Broadway show. I watched it so many times I still have parts of it memorized. I learned about laughing and thinking, laughing and crying, and wondering why I'm laughing from her. She's still funny when she's just herself being funny, but she's not as funny when she's trying to be other people's idea of funny. You get that?
4) Mark Twain -- Yeah, yeah, but if you HAVE a sense of humor and the ability to read, you've already caught on to ol' Sam Clemens. Ambrose Bierce is close, but Twain really does it for me for 19th century absolute ha-ha.
5) David Sedaris -- oh my. Having heard his voice on NPR years ago, I now have him in my head whenever I crack one of his books. Barrel Fever and Naked, and Holiday on Ice. Such accuracy, such biting, chewing and spitting, such Whores for the Holidays. I cannot look at anyone dressed as a Department Store Elf anymore.

Ok, back to being a superhero. Sol, you sooo much want to be over here.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

There IS a Santa Claus

IT CAME!

I'll see you all in a few days...er....something like that...

Talent

Last night was my third rehearsal with the OGC. As per usual, I sat there feeling overwhelmingly like "I Don't Belong Here".

Let me clarify. It has nothing to do with being around gay people. Pheh. It has nothing to do with the particular people in the group. Double Pheh.

It has to do with my NOT BEING A TENOR. Not even a first tenor.

I have a pretty good range, but little volume at the lower end of my voicec. So, even though I can hit most of the notes, I was practically inaudible. What's more, my voice doesn't sound that good down there. Sure, I can sing most of it an octave higher, and I do, but almost 90% of the songs split across my natural key range, so that I can sing about half in the right octave. Plus, switching back and forth to keep the group sounding cohesive is hard. I don't want my voice to stick out like a twinkle light. That's Bad Choral Participation, at least how I learned it. We are supposed to blend. I usually end rehearsal wanting to cry and wondering what ever made me think I could sing.

Last night we were rehearsing "When you wish upon a star", from Disney's Pinnochio. It's a nice, old fashioned song, and it's IN MY KEY for once -- very comfortably situated -- but I was already feeling bad about the whole thing. So the director had us break up, form a circle with everyone mixed up and away from anyone else who sang the same part. Then we sang it.

It was WONDERFUL.

Maybe I *can* sing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Why I'm Stupid

I believe in the magic of the Pre-Order.

Just like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, I somehow have never completely given up on the myth that, if I order my super special game or DVD or book when whoever offers me a Pre-Order, it will show up ON THE RELEASE DATE.

This isn't true. It's blatantly not true. If you are also among the believers, I must point out that pre-release orders do NOT show up on the release day. They show up two or three days later, depending on how what kind of shipping you requested. If you absolutely have to have it FIRST, RIGHT NOW, THIS INSTANT, go sit in the Electronics Department at the 24 hour Wal-Mart. Or camp at Best Buy.

Because there is nothing magical about the Pre-Order.

I know you won't accept this. I can't quite make myself accept it either, even though it's proven to me time and time again. Every Single Time I order something before it is released -- when I give some company my money to hold without having anything in return except a promise -- I somehow believe that I'm Special. I'm more loved than you are, you who run the risk that all the copies of whatever wonderful thing will e gone when you get there.

The copies, stacked high and wide in the stores, mock me when I walk by, because I've already paid for the pre-order. It's on its way. Oh, I COULD just buy the copy that's sitting in front of me. I could take it home NOW. But then I'd have two, and no matter how cool a game, DVD or book is, having two does not make them cooler. It makes for a pre-bought Christmas present that a target friend might already have, or would never ever want, but that's about all the cool it can have. Ain't Much.

Why do I continue to believe? Why do I sit and wait for my pre-order when everyone else who DIDN'T pre-order already has their copy of The Matrix III, Babylon 5 final season, Kill Bill vol. 1, or City of Heros? Hmm? Can someone explain it to me?

Oh, yeah. I'm stupid.

More Mail

From the spam bag

Betsy Butts
Mussolini A. Utterance
Verbena H. Revivifies
Hardtack S. Brigitte
vinegod magick
Sepulcher H. Friable


Generated by a program, right? Somewhere, a programmer is counting his money and laughing evilly.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

My dog is trying to gaslight me

I'm staring at my dog right now. I've come to the conclusion that one of us is crazy. It could be here, but I'm beginning to think it's me.

It's hard to explain how my dog makes me crazy. You sort of have to be here to watch for a few hours. But I'll try to explain.


1) Fear of Leaving the Room -- if I leave the bedroom, she must come after me. Once she's found me, she must hover just behind my knees. If I sit down in another room, she must attempt to climb on me, push me out of the chair, or knock whatever I'm holding from my hands, in order to persuade me to go back to the bedroom. If I'm standing, she begins a series of weird whiny-bark-groan noises and a constant running back and forth from where I am to the bedroom, as if guiding me to safety.

2) Fear of Peeing Alone -- She will not go into the backyard to pee unless someone -- anyone -- goes with her. Not only must you go with her, you must stand on the patio and command her "Calico, go pee." She will then hunt down a suitable spot to squat. Once the squatting is done, she runs back. Then, you must command, "Calico, go poo." Again, there is spot hunting and pooing. Why she can't do this on her own is completely unknown to me. As far as I know, she managed the first 7 years of her life on her own just fine. I suspect my mother in law had something to do with it. She walks the dog a lot when she's down. She's a very controlling sort of person.

Now, this also means that I may not use the toilet without puppy accompanyment. There is no door separating our bedroom from our bathroom. That means I've got a dog...well...getting far too interested in my business. If I use the guest bathroom, which does have a door, she gets very upset. Perhaps in her own little moany, groany dog-language, she is commanding ME to Pee and Poo, just in case I'm confused and unable to manage this on my own. Oh, and I can scratch her butt while I'm sitting there.

3) Dumping the Dogfood -- her foodbowl is attached to her crate, because she's into luxury and likes to eat lying down. However, when something doesn't suit her -- and we haven't figured out what those things are -- she will bang and pull and eventually detach the bowl, spilling food everywhere. She then scoops the kibble under her bed and nests it, saving it for later. The rest ends up on the carpet in my bedroom where I can step on it.

I don't know what she thinks she will accomplish with all this. Just because I've been sent to the asylum won't improve things. None of my clothes fit her and Husband won't let her sleep in the bed with him because she snores and she's a bed hog.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Citizen's alert

Ok, this post is JUST for the gamer geeks among you who are thinking of playing City of Heroes. If you want to find me, here are the names you can /friend for your list.

Server Character

Virtue Dr.Claire Jones
Pinnacle Vendette
Guardian Lady Magdalene
Freedom Hard Shock
Justice Mercy
Victory Le Chatte


Yeah, I'm a variety pack sort of girl.

Changes

I wasn't a big Wil Wheaton fan back in my Star Trek fan days. Not that I really hated him -- I disliked the way the writers used Wesley Crusher, and as the anti-Wesley sentiment grew, I knew that Wil didn't stand a chance. Eventually all there was to DO was hate Wesley, and hate Wil Wheaton as a side effect.

Honestly, I liked him best in "The Buddy System".

But, like a lot of folks, I peek in on his weblog from time to time. I'm fascinated by the concept of "Famous Guy as Real Person". I'm watching him on Tech TV doing Call for Help and being geeky in an endearing and, honestly, pretty interesting way.

He's grown up, I've grown up, and now, I'd pay to see him. I think he's got talent and personality and a good attitude. And -- wow -- he's really developed a good voice. Yup, he could talk sexy at me and I wouldn't laugh. Not one bit.

Of course, I'm still a Spock girl deep inside.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Big Day

Spent yesterday in NERO-land, assisting with running a one-day adventure. Nice and short, with tons of surprises, all of which I learned while sitting in Monster Town. I did no role playing at all, didn't have to put on a single stitch of costuming, which is both nice and a little boring. Came home before dark (whoo hoo), chatted with a friend, ate pizza, and settled in for the night. I needed to get a good night's sleep, you see, because today...

today...

TODAY CITY OF HEROES STARTS AGAIN!

Several people at yesterday's event are, of COURSE, video gamers and we spent a lot of time discussing the merits of the game. Most of us are jonsing bad for the 1 pm EST start today, when we can recreate the characters we made or make new ones, and begin our running around and smiting of evil in the new, improved Paragon City.

You know you want to.

I resisted Everquest. It never looked interesting to me despite my love of sword-and-sorcery fantasy. I dabbled in Earth & Beyond but quickly grew frustrated with the lack of roleplaying opportunities, the sameness of the game, and constant server problems that made gameplay frustrating. I gave Star Wars Galaxies a glance but the dancing wookies frightened me.

Why I'm so in love with superheroes, I can't explain. I was never a huge superhero comics reader -- my childhood reading was restricted to the Big Red Cheese that was -Shazam!-, Captain Marvel, with its very 1950's style and crazy supervillians. Girls weren't exactly encouraged to read this sort of literature. Superman never really moved me, and Batman has been reinterpreted so many times that I can't say I know anything about him. Most female superheros were too vanilla bland, existing only to show adolescent boys some boobies. I have a mild interest in Anime, but only mild.

Right this moment, I'm watching Boomerang, which is showing a day-long run of "Battle of the Planets" with G-force. I remember watching this show in junior high, when it was new and exciting and occupied the time slot right before Star Trek, along with Thundercats.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Best Revenge

How do you deal with someone who freeloads off the web content you are supplying and paying to maintain? Wendy Darling has a completely wonderful solution.

I believe in the protection of copyright. I also believe in fair use. I hold a copyright on everything I originate for this site, and I try to credit the work of others that I use where possible. I don't use pictures that aren't stored on my very own paid-for webspace. I'm careful about content. At the very least, I ain't making any money from anything, and I don't think I'm preventing anyone from making money they deserve from their own work.

I've only had posts co-opted or stolen once that I know -- for an "alternative sexuality/fetish" website that found something I'd written (and thought very funny, if embarrassing) was just too darn hot. I sent a message asking for the removal of my work. I moved the post. Someone had copied and pasted it, and there wasn't much I could do. The site admin was unresponsive. That was one nail in the coffin of my old site, and also had a huge effect on what I would and would not write about here.

While I suspect the particular perpetrator in Wendy's case might have been working with ignorance, not really grasping the ramifications of what she did nor really comprehending the copyright violations ( as well as the general rudeness) she was performing, it's not really an excuse. Just because you see pretty flowers in someone else's yard does not confer upon you the right to cut them down to decorate your dining room. Free access and movement of information is part of Internet culture. I think this means you are allowed to go to a site, read, look, link and quote. You aren't entitled to appropriate, "borrow" or plaguarize. Most of all, you aren't allowed to use up someone else's bandwidth and storage space, as that is blatantly stealing.

And it might end up with you showing everyone that you are an ass.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Withdrawal

Well, tonight marks the end of the City of Heroes BETA test period. The servers go down tonight and come back up on Sunday (for pre-order and BETA people) and Wednesday for the rest of the world.

I haven't been gaming madly, just in case you wondered. I did a little set up work should Husband and I care to have a last fling tonight, but since all will be erased at midnight, it doesn't seem quite worth it. I don't know. Part of me wants to be online when the announcment is made and part of me thinks I can find something better to do.

Two whole days. Two WHOLE days.

That and I'm having keyboard trouble. You see, I'm a bit anal about keeping my laptop clean. With all the cats I have, cat hair gets into everything -- and my computer is no exception. So yesterday I popped off the keys to pull out cat hair.

Canned air just won't do it. The stuff is pernicious. It takes tweezers to pull it out.

However, as usual, the keys I popped aren't working as well as they should. Most annoying is the space bar. I must hit it hard and dead center to get a space. This slows down my typing speed as well as causing a lot of backing up to put spaces in. Grr. Unfortunately, there's not a lot I can do about it. The "B" key is also having some problems. I'd pop them off to reset them if I didn't think that would compound the problem. Bah.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This is up there with Science finding God

At least in my little world. You Really May Be Addicted to That Chocolate Cake

I'm a sugar addict, plain and simple. Staying away from my favorite stuff is so complex that usually I don't even try. I find that watching certain TV channels that have lots of food ads does make me think more about food, especially sweets. Thinking about it means doing it.

That's one thing my video game addiction doesn't do -- make me hungry. Husband and I can get something to drink and then sit for hours playing without eating (you have to take your hands off the keyboard, and you get crumbs all over) and then suddenly realize it's TIME TO EAT.

I have a magnet on my refrigerator that speaks a kind of truth. It says...

"If I need religion, I'll worship chocolate cake."

Addiction part 3

Ok, I'm so much about this game. Here, I'll show you just how cool.


My "cat girl" hero -- I'll eventually get a screen shot of her claws.


This is my first character, Vendette.



And this one I haven't played yet. I made her because she just looks scary cool.



You know you want to play.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Addiction part 2

Ok, I actually DID read about half my book, In the Devil's Garden (see my reading group list for details). Religious folk have done some seriously twisted thinking about food, folks. And the aristocracy. And the middle classes. In fact, the only people who haven't had a lot of seriously twisted thinking about food are the peasant classes. They just eat whatever is left over.

Yes, we played. One of our friends called me last night to reveal that he, too, has succumbed. We tried to hook up, but the vagaries of server tests prevented it. Husband and I ran our pair of cat people around enough to each raise a level, and then shut it down by 11:30 pm.

Happily, we did not go to sleep then.

I'm sure there's some perspective to be gained here somewhere. It's not a PERFECT game, but then it's only in BETA testing. I'll figure it out. Meanwhile, I have to level up.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Addiction part 1

Ok, we stopped playing around 2 am this morning. We've got laptops and the comfiest spots are in the bedroom, so that's where we were. The major part of the weekend was spent staring at the computer and going "Whoo hoo!" and "Damn!" at intervals.

You'd think I'd have other things to do with my husband in my bedroom.

So far today I have not logged in. I only talked about it once. I have a book to read. I'm GOING TO READ MY BOOK.

*whimper*

Really, book....I don't NEED to play any of my slick, cool, nifty superheros. I've got a whole stable of them that will be wiped out when the BETA ends, so why give it all my time? I'll be able to play long after I'm really sick of it, right? I can read a book now. Realy, I'm fine. I'm going to read my book. It doesn't need to fly or have cool special abilities or make neat noise. I can read my book and I'll be just fine.

Why won't my leg stop jittering?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Private Service Announcement

I have fallen victim to Video game Addiction. My life has been taken over by City of Heros.

What's so damn funny is that usually this only happen to him and I join in on the game so he will talk to me. Now that it's me, and I'm always wanting him to play, too, he's getting all responsible and conservative.

If you guys don't hear from me for a while, I'm running at high speed over Paragon City, bringing the Fist of Justice onto the heads of various bad guys, and waking up from time to time in the medical center. Please send pizza.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Sherri Is...

Blame Stephen for this one. He has proven I have far too much time on my hands AND my brain has imploded.

Googlism for: sherri (I've highlighted the ones that made me choke on my Diet Pepsi)

sherri is a real pro
sherri is in trouble in a couple of wrestling matches
sherri is flipped into the ring
sherri is available for appearances
sherri is an animal lover
sherri is to me the fullfilment of everything i ever wanted in a marriage
sherri is a real estate agent that is known in the community of whitecourt for their dedicated client service
sherri is a pain 1
sherri is someone who appreciates simple
sherri is art mayoff
sherri is a dream to manage
sherri is dressed in a tight red rubber dress and matching ponytail hood with heels and stockings
sherri is taken from the jail cell by boss and brought down stairs where 'she' is forced to provide oral service on slave jayne in the lobby
sherri is a joy to work with

sherri is very attractive
sherri is a physical therapist for the san jose sharks professional hockey team
sherri is waiting until after the october convention to prepare for the next workshop
sherri is one of the best i’ve ever had the pleasure to assign stories
sherri is a single mother of three boys with a full time job and she just purchased a new home
sherri is overloaded with school responsibilities like new student day
sherri is committed to making your move to the melbourne area a smooth transition
sherri is dedicated to helping people make the most of their home
sherri is a case manager for surrogate parenting services and as such
sherri is also a former board member of the valley ranch association
sherri is in
sherri is wheeled into the operating room on a stretcher (after that day at work, no wonder!)
sherri is from new york city where her father was a business agent for the international ladies garment workers union
sherri is the product of retro and shock
sherri is very pleased with the support she has received from her supervisors and co
sherri is blessed with the talent
sherri is one of the last great examples of drive
sherri is wise4
sherri is a leader in the fight against domestic violence and child abuse
sherri is very busy (no kidding!)
sherri is your one
sherri is fearless
sherri is one of the top stars of iron ring wrestling
sherri is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of connecticut
sherri is a member of the texas association of realtors
sherri is recognized for her distinguished client service
sherri is an lpga teaching professioal at longshore club park
sherri is the head instructor at bennett's water ski school in baton rouge
sherri is the program director for elite gymnastics & cheer academy
sherri is the weekday anchor for 42 daily news at 5
sherri is exceptionally well
sherri is basically a mix of other successful films of the time such as candy stripe nurses
sherri is concerned
sherri is currently attending a local community college in order to get a degree
sherri is a dynamic presenter who actively engages her audience throughout the training process
sherri is working on a policy format
sherri is requesting online banking for the bod
sherri is a mentor for the tcc open door project
sherri is a wonderful illustrator who worked magic based upon my horribly vague descriptions of what a kimo should look like
sherri is coming your way
sherri is told that she will fall in love and marry a director of her father’s company
sherri is a graduate of drexel university in philadelphia and hallmark institute of photography in massachusetts
sherri is holland's "first lady of nascar pro modified racing"
sherri is
sherri is married with one child
sherri is for practical reasons
sherri is a bright light that guides spirit to be all that they can be musically
sherri is kidnapped
sherri is an active member of associated bodywork & massage professionals
sherri is new to apdt and to dog training
sherri is 5'8 with a lithe build
sherri is breeding these mares come spring
sherri is ebullient and proud
sherri is currently focusing on writing songs for her debut cd
herri is tracing the history of the 37
sherri is up there floating around in her own space ship
sherri is an active teen who has a good sense of humor
sherri is a naui rescue diver and naui master diver
sherri is married to father time and whenever she is on the screen she's a hoot
sherri is always open (The mind reels...)
sherri is the proud owner of tilley
sherri is dedicated to exceed her clients' expectations (Well, it's part of wearing those work uniforms)
sherri is a member of the national broadcasting society

Morning Mute

I don't like to talk in the mornings.

I don't like to be spoken to or required to speak. I don't care if you are my husband, my cat, or a Heavenly Messenger, keep your questions and comments short, and let me answer with nods or headshakes. In fact, if you are my husband or a Heavenly Messenger, you should already know this.

I don't know why this is. I'm normally pretty chatty. Just those first 60 minutes or so after I make the transition from the snoring dead to the rather-be-snoring-dead, I find any attempts at complex communication very difficult. It distracts me from more important things, like remembering how my feet work or locating a bra that will fit me today (since every bra I own will fit differently depending on a range of complex factors, all of which I am trying to assess within the 24 second window allowed for such decisions when I have 10 minutes to get from the house to the parking lot at work).

My much beloved husband, the man with whom I spend those last precious minutes warmly cuddled under the sheets, entwined in each other, the person with whom I have chosen to spend the rest of my life, who knows me like no other...he doesn't get it.

Oh no, he's up in the morning and bubbling around (even if he can't match up his shoes), chatty and happy and wanting me to join him in the joy and glory that is Morning. He doesn't usually have much to actually comminicate. Aside from certain essential information ("I took the dog out.") or vital questions ("Where's my cell phone?"), it's mostly a line of patter, silliness, and game attempts to engage me in small talk.

Yes, small talk. My husband wants to me to make SMALL TALK with him in the pre-verbal morning hours. I have major problems with small talk at any point in the day, but in the MORNING? With my HUSBAND? I love him, I adore him, I want to have his babies, but I am one day going to take a sockball and stuff it in his mouth if he doesn't catch on.

My cats, on the other hand, have the same understanding of morning I do. The little bastards roll resentful eyes at me, stretch, yawn, and move into the warm spot I left on the bed. Not a word is said, but the "Go, human, and earn money for my maintenance" sentiment is clearly understood.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The latest in Literary Guides

Warning -- do not drink or eat while reading this.

The Trees Remember - Legolas: The Owner's Guide

Ok, where do I put in my order?

(Via my buddy Glennis)

Questionnaire

Everyone who reads this can ask me 3 questions via comments. Ask me anything you want, although expect to get the answers you deserve for certain questions (in other words, the management reserves the right to refuse to answer questions that are patently offensive.) Then go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including me) to ask you anything.

(swiped from Ezrael, who's an angel)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Stereotype

While at the pet store yesterday picking up some bird seed and some cat nip and some fuzzy mice for an experiment, I met a walking stereotype.

She was somewhere in her late 40's/early 50s, but only because she was born that way. She was perhaps 5'4 and a chubby 160 or so. Her willpower blonde hair was poufed 8 inches off her scalp in all directions -- I was both daunted and impressed. Her bronzed skin showed some signs of surgical intervention, as did the weighty breasts filling the orange satin bra she wore. I know she had on an orange satin bra because she also had on an orange sweater with only one sleeve -- the other having never been added so as to create a sexy bare shoulder look.

I don't think an orange bra was really a part of the original look, but maybe she was taking a cue from Madonna or something.

She was also wearing tight capris and metallic leather loafers, and she was loaded with gold jewelry. Her make up was much in keeping with the rest of her look -- eyebrows dragqueen high, metallic lipstick and eyeshadow around heavy mascera, bold unblended blocks of blush on her cheeks, and her inch-and-a-half curved claws were painted in gold-sheen metallic scenes with what looked like Oriental style flowers. She was wearing some kind of perfume that made me wonder what she'd stepped in. It wasn't exactly STINKY, but it had...spring garden overtones.

However, she was cheerful and pleasant, if a little overly perky, exclaiming over some stretch dog collars made of layered sheer triangles of pastel frou-frou and spangles in the shape of bunnies, chickies and stars -- Easter Dog Costumes -- trying to find one "macho" enough for her Boxer. Any self-respecting Macho dog would have peed on her gold tone loafers. She regaled us with tales of her dog and his musical toys, one of which played "In Your Easter Bonnet" over and over again.

When I left, I saw her Boxer in her car -- a pearl white, late model Cadillac. He was a hefty dog, good looking, with a worried expression. I half expected him to look at his gold Rolex and honk the horn. He should have been wearing a golf shirt, which I'm sure she has in his Dog Costume Closet. Apparently his Christmas outfit was a big hit.

She is SO going into a story some day. I think I'll name her Roxie, although her real name will be something like Gerdie.

Brain Twitch

I am losing my tiny, little mind.

I was trying to expose a hidden folder on my work computer, so I selected the properties and clicked the "hidden" button. It asked me if I wanted to change the settings on my system. I don't really like hidden folders, so I said "yes".

Everything on my system dissappeared.

After I dug my tongue out of the back of my throat, I started poking around. Everything was still THERE -- I hadn't managed to magically format my harddrive and yet keep Windows running -- but my tool bars and menus were all gone. It was shocking. It was alarming. What had I done?

I poked and peeked and probed for about 10 minutes before the shock wore off and I remembered that if it was all still there, then I just needed to change a setting. I found the right menu, and looked at it. Somehow, I had hidden every single file on my computer. My power to fuck myself over amazed me. I clicked the little box, said yes to the global application question, and watched my icons and menus reappear like I was watching New York City awaken after a blackout. I hugged my monitor. I rolled around my office in my super wheelie chair and sang songs of praise to computer heros gone by. I toasted them with my Diet Pepsi. The receptionist crept to my door and watched me, carefully sheltered by the doorjam, until she got scared and had to answer a call.

I still haven't found the stupid folder I was looking for in the first place, but I really don't care anymore. Whatever it had in it can't be that important.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Reconstituted Weekend

You know, I consider myself a storyteller. Why I cannot seem to put together the events of the convention, which were varied and distinct, is confusing. I suppose they are more like little beads on a string -- each by itself is fairly boring and inconsequential. It is the whole thing strung together, complete with knots in between, that make up the worthwhile thing.

So...I shall attempt some reconstruction.

The drive up was rather unpleasant. I drove most of the way, and in traditional style, we went through one band of thunderstorms after another, including one rather impressive hailstorm. We actually had to pull off at one point because the wiper blades on the van were completely shot and we had not put any Rain-X on the windshield. There's a whole episode concerning windshield wiper blade replacement I could insert here. Wiper blades, for some reason, are a trauma for us. There was sniping and a popcorn peace treaty.

The hotel for Fantasm was once a very nice Ramada conference center. It has obviously seen better times. As I understand it, it's last incarnation was as a meeting place for biker conventions. You can tell. It could be very nice again if money and management are applied.

In any case, there was one line of rooms along the front that were $59 a night. They had double beds, a working refrigerator, and a mini microwave. They did not come with towels. I tried not to ponder the state of the bedding. The carpets hadn't been vacuumed in...a while. There were cigarette burns on the tub, the walls were a little bashed, the bedspreads had burn holes and the curtains were falling off the rod. I worried that the clothes hanging rack would fall off the wall. However, the plumbing worked, the lights worked, the A/C worked, and it was ground floor. I didn't see or hear a maid the whole weekend. When we checked in, the room we were assigned was already occupied. After we got a new room and had our stuff unloaded, the desk called us and said our room was booked by someone else and we would have to move to another room. Husband and Miss S used firm and polite voices to inform the desk clerk that the room to which they wanted to move us would work just as well for the people who had just arrived, since they had given the room we had first to someone else.

These were the luxury suites, you see. Other rooms ran down to $25 a night and might or might not have sheets or a mattress for the bed.

The hotel is under new management who hope to turn it into an alternative lifestyle resort hotel. My one comment is -- get some cleaning crews in there and buy some linens. Alternative lifestyle people are all about clean linen and pristine floors.

The dealer's room was set up nicely. We were between a purveyer of handmade floggers and a group of women who sold leather clothing (bodices, skirts, shirts, pants, all designed to lace up tightly). Just across from us was a group of performers called Purgatory. They had a video of their show going, which included such diversions as vinyl clad women in spike heals and nun's wimples tossing around submissive men to a heavy dance beat, and occasionally setting one of them on fire. The dominatrix who apparently headed the group gave a few demos of how to beat someone with various whips, floggers, and canes.

I *did* mention this was a fetish convention, didn't I? Oh yes, yes it is. The SF/Fantasy connection is tenuous and growing more strained each year. When it snaps completely -- which I expect to happen in a year or so -- we will need to be making good profit to continue the show. On the other hand, it does make for interesting observation of people. There were people doing body piercing, people doing tattoo and people doing face painting. There was one gentleman of our aquantaince who makes costume dental appliances -- fangs, actually. There were two -- count 'em, two -- corset makers (inlcuding my favorite guy), an assortment of dealers with sex toys and associated paraphenalia. One of my favorite people is Tiger, who makes lovely leather masks and headpieces -- quite innocuous costume pieces, with animal faces, "green men", and variations on the traditional eye mask. A few clothing and costumery dealers, some anime and comics dealers, and at least 5 artists booths rounded out the collection. One of the clothing booths sold jewelry, but nothing like what we have. We sold three expensive pieces and some smaller bits, and Husband did a lot of massage. Oh, and the buttons we'd created just for the show went over well - we sold over 70 buttons.

Ugh. I'm doing a rotten job here, aren't I? Well, stories are made up of details and details are few or boring, not really enough to "tell". How much can I say about things like purchasing a riding crop?

Oh, I didn't mention that? It was in the pictures.

That started as a bit of a joke. The lady next to us was not making great sales, but she was very generous and helpful and nice (even if we didn't share much conversation). She had a pair of classic riding crops -- black leather, the real horsie thing -- and I bought one as a present for Miss S to complete a costume she had. While waiting to give it to her, I played around with it, rather like a baton. It was nifty and neat and looked all bad and dangerous and naughty. She really liked it. The next morning I pulled out a costume to wear -- it pays to dress up in dealer's rooms just so people notice you -- and I had the red bodice and the black skirt. I'd planned to wear a sheer ruffled shirt under the corset, but the room tended to get pretty warm in the afternoon, so I'd brought a light sweater to wear in the morning. While getting dressed, I picked up Miss S's top hat and plopped it on my head. This top hat is one of her treasures so I'd no real intention of borrowing it. I'd borrowed the gloves because the ones I had were too tight (they were originally bought to use as jewelry displays). Then she pulled out the shawl -- one of mine I'd given her. She gave me the drag queen squeal of approval and determined that I must wear the hat for the day .

So I'm feeling quite sassy in red satin and a top hat and I cruise down to the booth. There's a second riding crop sitting there. It isn't expensive. I pick it up. Next thing I know, I'm handing over the money and posing for Andy Lee to paint me wearing my new ensemble.

It's just the perfect accessory for a red satin bodice, black satin opera gloves and a top hat.

Later in the day, Eric the Bootblack, a gay little leather boy you could warm your frozen pizza on, came by wearing tiny leather shorts and proclaiming it was his birthday. He was eyeing the crop. So, I obligingly swatted him twice with it -- the second time upon direct request. It makes a very interesting noise when it hits leather. So did Eric.

And that was the kinkiest thing I did the whole convention.

by Andy Lee



More Nifty Names

Ah, it's happened. I'm actually looking forward to going through my spam mail.

Fraught E. Polymers
Unrepeatable Q. Gorging
Gusher H. Hung
Whacked C. Ballooning
Circumnavigate D. Segregate
Caboose S. Bullying
Penney Q. Sidestroked
Hooves V. Phallus

I can't even pick a favorite, but ol' Whacked is kinda appealing.

I guess one day I'll get ambitious and collect them into a file or something. After I stop laughing. At least it's easy to pick out the spam mail

Monday, April 12, 2004

The Con Report

Ok, for whatever reason I can never really tell stories about what happens to me easily. My own life does not translate well into narrative, mostly because it's pretty boring.

However, it was a most interesting weekend. Not great, not bad, just...interesting. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Warning -- some of these are not work safe, and could possibly be offensive, although if this sort of thing offends you, I must piss you off regularly.

Fantasm Pictures

We made money, which I find positive. I saw people I liked and had some conversations, although because I'm not a party person I didn't get to have conversation at any length with anyone. I don't find loud music, alcohol, crowds or yelling conducive to intellectual exchange. I know, I'm boring.

I still got to swat a little Leather Boy across his leather breeches with a riding crop. It was....well...interesting. I spent almost all non-dealer room time in the hotel room, though. I skipped all the various drama. I didn't go to parties. I'm a dull, dull person.

I'm back

Photographic evidence forthcoming.

Now I have to unpack. But I'm going to sleep first.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Unwound

The Packing Is Done.

At least as much as I can do. Husband has a few things he needs to pack up that I can't. The computer will go into it's bag when I go to bed tonight. Now I must get dressed and go to the store. I really, really don't want to , but then again, I really really DO want to eat this weekend.

We always take a cooler to a con, stocked with easy to handle, no cooking required food. Sometimes it's the only food we get. Eating out every meal for 4 days is pricey. We don't do it. Trail Mix and Granola Bars are good things.

Ugh. My ass hurts.

Popping a spring

Ok, Part 3 is complete -- jewelry and displays are packed and waiting at the door. All that's left is trying to get whatever I can fit into the now empty Woods box. Husband has not been working in the shop much in the last 6 months, so what was once a lovely collection of hand turned, hand carved and painted bowls, cups and goblets is reduced to a few hairsticks and some leftovers of his glory days. I must not harrass him about it, though.

My back still hurts and I don't smell good anymore and I still have to go to the store. Ugh. At least I can look forward to pizza for dinner.

From the "Oh you tatooed What?" department

I'm old. This is weirding me out.

The latest fashion must-have: eyeball jewellery

Body modification is a big thing for lots of people, but the thought of this particular mod has me ooking like cockroaches are marching across my feet. Eeeww! Eeew! No, it does not look "cool". It looks like SOMETHING IS IN YOUR EYE.

Ick! Euw! Yuck bleah oioioi. I have a hard enough time with contact lenses.

Tightly Wound

Ugh, my ass hurts. So does my lower back.

Part 2 is complete -- all the clothing, bathroom stuff, and such are packed. That leaved me just the show stuff.

Ugh, I'm tired already and we haven't even left yet.

Another Spammer gets laughed at.

Chorus O. Sarcophagi!

Completely senseless, yet somehow meaningful.

Wound Up

Part 1 is completed -- I've repacked Miss S into fewer containers. She's completely overwhelmed with packing this time. In Man Drag, she could pack for 4 days in two plastic grocery bags and still have room for a book. She's now in one dress bag, one large suitcase, one makeup case, a hat box, and the special boxes for The Girls.

I was going to have Husband pull down our two rolly suitcases, but after a little thought, I can get everything into two of the collapsible duffle bags. If I can keep the cats out of the bags and I'm being literal. Nothing attrscts a cat like a bag you are trying to pack.

Ophelia just climbed into the one I have open on the bed now. Happily, it doesn't fit. She's so fat.

Ugh, I have to pack up bathroom bags and makeup and..ugh. I'm tired already. I haven't even started on the show stuff, although I hope that will go quickly once I get started. I hope.

The Big Wind Up

Any minute now I'm going to get up and start packing. I've got clothes to pack, show stuff to pack, jewelry displays to pack -- all kinds of stuff.

Any minute now, I swear.

I've been making a mental list of things to write about here, but haven't done it yet. I want to write about Rob R-H and how he has more people telling him how to live than any other weblogger I read. I have theories about this I am going to expound upon -- after I finish packing.

Miss S packed her life into my old luggage last night, with the help of Ms J. I could talk about that, too, but I didn't really watch so I can only say that it takes a drag queen as much luggage as depicted in movies. The Gabor sisters were obviously drag queens, if you go by the luggage-o-meter. In fact, any number of stereotypical TV and movie Princesses displayed Drag Queen genes if you gauge by how much they pack to go on a 4 day trip.

The husband and I traveled 10 days in England with one suitcase (normal size) and one carry on a piece. I realized when I was there I could have packed much less, but we took jackets and sweaters in case in got cold and they take up space. At least we left our big coats (yes, I own a big trench coat with the zip in lining AND an attachable hood. And a hat and scarf I bought from LL Bean. And a pair of black leather gloves. Every once in a while I take them out and pet them.)

Really should pack. It's going to happen.

I've been thinking about how neglected my writing site is and how stupid it was of me to stop my little ritual of doing prompts. I want to write about that because the whining might cause a guilt reflex and make me pick it back up again.

I've been pondering the audition upcoming and singing scales while driving in the car.

I'm thinking right now that I have to hurry up and pack because I have to go to Wal-mart and I have to buy hair dye because these roots are NOT going to Fantasm. Ugh. The lengths to which vanity have led me. Every time I try to let the dye go, I see all those grey white hairs on my scalp and run scared.

I'm watching a film clip on The History Channel from the late 1920's whwew grown men are dressed as skyscrapers. Chubby, elderly men. Not pretty.

Ok, I've fooled around long enough. Now I really should actually go pack. Right after I eat something.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The Age Gauge

I've long tended to "locate" myself in relationship to the ages of others, to events in history, and to the deaths of famous people. So, this latest goodie roaming the weblogs seems a natural.

35 years old at the time of the 9-11 attack on America
34 years old on the first day of Y2K
31 years old when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash
29 years old at the time of Oklahoma City bombing
28 years old when O. J. Simpson was charged with murder
27 years old at the time of the 93 bombing of the World Trade Center
25 years old when Operation Desert Storm began (I was glued to CNN every day)
23 years old during the fall of the Berlin Wall
20 years old when the space shuttle Challenger exploded (I was standing in my backyard watching it when it happened)
18 years old when Apple introduced the Macintosh
17 years old during Sally Ride's travel in space
15 years old when Pres. Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
13 years old at the time the Iran hostage crisis began
10 years old on the U.S.'s bicentennial Fourth of July
8 years old when President Nixon left office (I remember having intense political arguments while waiting for my third grade class to start)
6 years old when Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot
3 years old at the time the first man stepped on the moon (I have a vague memory of watching this on TV)
2 years old when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated

Of course, like most kids growing up in the 60's and 70's, my life centered around television

5 years old when All in the Family was first shown (and I was watching it)
6 years old at the time the TV series M*A*S*H began (another show I grew up watching every episode)
9 years old when Saturday Night Live first aired (I was too young to stay up that late!)
12 years old when CBS introduced Dallas (My mother loved this show)
15 years old during the first airing of Hill Street Blues
16 years old at the time the first Cheers episode was televised (probably the last TV comedy I watched regularly)
20 years old when L.A. Law was first aired on TV
21 years old at the time the series Married with Children began
24 years old when Seinfeld was first televised
25 years old in the month Home Improvement began
28 years old at the time the TV series Friends began
30 years old when Everybody Loves Raymond first aired
33 years old when Who Wants To Be A Millionaire began in the US

Then there are the movies...

When these movies were released in the U.S. your age was:

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: 2 (seen it several times)
Midnight Cowboy: 3
The Godfather: 6
American Graffiti: 7
Jaws: 9
Star Wars: 11 (seen it innumerable times)
Animal House: 12
Star Trek: The Motion Picture: 14 (begged my dad to take me)
ET: 16
The Terminator: 18
Top Gun: 20 (saw it)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: 21
Steel Magnolias: 23 (saw it)
Home Alone: 24
Wayne's World: 26
Jurassic Park: 27
Forrest Gump: 28 (saw it)
Fargo: 30
Saving Private Ryan: 32
Toy Story 2: 33 (saw it)

I would guess the creator of this test is 20 something, since it seems the 1960's are "ancient" for him, and in the "relative age" sections of each gauge, there is no one listed who is within 4 years of my age -- an amazing lack of contemporaries, considering I know there are at least a FEW famous folk about my age...like Sarah Jessica Parker and Brandon Lee and Richard Grieco (ok, so he's not all that famous), and Robert Downey, Jr. (he counts as infamous). There's John Cryer and Martin Lawrence, Linda Evangelista, Brooke Shields, Claudia Christian (who sooo screwed up her career by leaving B5), Shania Twain, Moby, Ben Stiller, Heidi Fleiss, and Bianca Butthole.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

More Mail

Today, Buttocks V. Jogs wants to tell me about exceptional offers for medication.

And somewhere, a wannabe spammer wonders why all the other spammers laugh at him.

I could go on singing

Spent last night with Miss S and her new Ms J, and Husband, attending a concert given by the Orlando Gay Chorus. P, my accupuncurist, is a member and has been encouraging me to audition. No, you don't have to be gay or lesbian to sing and no, I don't have a problem with being part of a group with gays and lesbians. I already share a planet and the occasional dinner with such people, and sexual orientation doesn't really affect musical ability, as far as I can tell.

I've actually considered joining before, since is it about the only non-school affiliated, non-church afflilated choral group in the area. They do a fairly broad selection of music. It's a mostly male chorus, but the ranks of women are growing. The chorus sounds pretty good, with a fairly professional air and a few real talents (and a few people with more attitude than vocal ability). The director is tremendously talented and, according to P is a very nice man. So, in two weeks, we shall see.

I can tell from the choral make up that there are not many refused membership, but the overall product is good. There are smaller groups within the larger chorus -- one group of men call themselves "Outloud" and did a fabulous take off of "Sister Act" by coming out in nun's habits and performing "I Will Follow Him" complete with 60's girl group choreography (complicated choreography). And they sounded great. Even the ASL interpreter got into the act, signing the lyrics with a wimple (and a lot of attitude) on.

However, I question my ability to be a part of this group. I've got a high opinion of my musical and vocal ability, but I don't expect others to think the same way. I'm sure there are those -- and they may be numerous -- who'd rather hear nails on a blackboard than listen to me sing. And I don't want to walk in as a bag full of ego. But I don't really think I'd be happy to just be unrecognised on the back row. I've spent too many years as lead singiner to really be completely happy being just a voice in the blend. The OGC uses a lot of soloists on a volunteer basis rather than a best choice basis. I suspect that there are tremendous voices that simply lack the ego strength to carry solos. I saw a lot of the same people pulling solos who I really wouldn't have set up like that, since they had more confidence than voice.

I dunno. I could potentially not pass the audition -- I've not made auditions before. It won't be because I don't sing, but I could see not being selected because my voice is...too distinctive. Too strong and too likely to pop out of the blend. A chorus has to have a blend of voices. I haven't really sung in a chorus since 1985 or there abouts.

Eh, no point fretting about it. We shall see.

Friday, April 02, 2004

The lovely thing about

bad moods is that they pass.

Yes, they do pass. I'm feeling better now. I don't know why, really -- maybe my bloodsugar equaled out, maybe I wrote it all out, maybe the moon has gotten to the right point to exert the perfect tidal pull on my brain. Who knows?

I should delete my whiny rant, but then again, one of my reasons for having this weblog is to talk to people with minimal censorship. So, chalk it up to ucky stuff.

And Vote for Bakiwop!

Confession

Ok, this is bad and I'll probably take this down later, but right now I'm fighting a really strong urge to feel terribly sorry for myself. Nothing has happened, nothing's wrong, I'm just full of dark thoughts, there's no one around, I can't distract myself, and I'm having a lot of difficulty motivating myself to do anything other than sit here and feel sorry for myself.

It sucks, because I can see it coming, like a thunderstorm. Even if I get to shelter, I feel like I'm going to get wet anyway.

Bah. My head and I don't always agree about things, and this mood is one of them. I just have to find a way to fight it off, to change my head, to get OUT of it, before I break down crying for no particular reason except...

I'm upset because it seems that I can't ever have a baby of my own, even though rationally I know I'm not really set up for it. The idea of dying and not passing on what my mother and father gave me -- there are some good things -- seems criminally unfair, especially to my mom.

I'm missing my dad really badly, and my mom somewhat less.

I feel really fat and ugly but rather than get up, eat a salad and exercise, I just want to gorge on chocolate and hide in the closet.

I feel spectacularly untalented, despite all my desire and study and attempts.

And I'm thinking about death a lot, and that's just bothering me crazy. Dark thoughts out of the nowhere are signs of depression and I don't want to go there.

*sigh* whining. It's been coming on for a few days here.

Don't worry. I get through this stuff. Writing it out helps with perspective. Still, the feelings are real and hard and bothersome. I'd really like to talk to someone about something that isn't this.



I know where I'm going

Next weekend, Miss S, the Husband and I will be wheeling our way to Atlanta for Fantasm 2004, one of the more "interesting" conventions we attend through the year. One of my favorite artists, Andy Lee, will be there.

You gotta love a convention that has a Kink programming track.

Playing with my Spam

Today's crop of spam mail has popped up like fungus, with strange shapes and interesting colors.

A few of these people are a little confused. Byron Rogers, despite his deep knowledge of investment strategy, thinks my name is Herman. His friend, Dwayne Shirly, thinks I'm Abraham.

Then there's Phillip from humblenet. He's pretty much a to-the-point guy, which explains why "Your Penis" is the subject of his message. How can I possibly explain to him that my penis is just fine, thank you. And I don't think I'd be discussing a penis problem with anyone from a place called Humblenet. Humble - penis...that doesn't jibe, does it? Or am I just being female here? (IF you didn't get my joke about my penis being fine, email me and I will explain it to you. If you think you get it but aren't sure, here's a hint -- I'm very posessive about my husband. No, not THAT possessive, but still...)


You know, that's a problem with jokes on the web. So often, jokes require a certain amount of shared information and viewpoint, if not a sharing of opinion. Where everyone exposed to a joke has all the same references, the joke has a chance to be funny. But if one person doesn't share in the background the joke leans on, then that person not only won't get it, but could get upset and angry. Humor is very complicated -- as Robin Williams once pointed out, what a concept.

Which makes putting any joke on the web an exercise in faith.

Anyway, that's all the interesting stuff from my spampile. The rest is all stupid people sending me attachments loaded, no doubt, with either virii or irritating adbots that will install themselves on my machine and expose me to endless popups. I've been popup free for weeks now -- it's like not having herpes anymore. The relief is wonderful.

I can't think of a title so I'm going to pretend I made one -- you can, too.

Ugh. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm just whiney.

Yesterday was a bit of interesting combined with a bit of irritating. The interesting part was making a pair of "party tits" for Miss S to take to Fantasm. Now, this is indeed as weird as it sounds. We used an extra thick mix of unflavored gelatin that we tried in various methods to put into balloons. The problem? No way to pressurize the gelatin enough to make the balloons stretch. So after a lot of attempts and mess, we gave that up.

Miss S has a very nice pair of prosthetic breasts we call 'The Girls' (so original are we, but, hey, it works). They are packaged in plastic forms. It took us a little while but eventually it occured to us that we could line the forms with plastic wrap and use them for molds. we could then deal with how to seal the gelatin up in some manner of plastic container so they could be worn, since the gelatin will melt after a while. I'm going in search of that method sometime today, if I can get my ass out of the house.

In any case, I now have two gelatin boobs in my kitchen. Each of Miss S's DD tits holds a about 3 1/2 cups of gelatin -- just in case you collect information like that.

Later that evening I went to the writing group I started but that I no longer am interested in. Well, mostly I'm no longer interested in being around one of the members because, while he's an intelligent and even entertaining guy, he's also a grandstander and has zero respect for anyone but himself -- one of those types who will ask you a question and then spend 15 minutes answering it for himself without ever pausing long enough for you to say one word. If you attempt to say anything, he'll talk right over you. Yeah, I could cut him off, drop him down, whatever, but it goes against my own purposes on a number of levels. First, since I'm considered the leader of the group, I don't think it would serve me at all to act like I'm in kindergarten and start a fight. I don't see anything I could win. I have no right to boot him from the group, and talking to him privately is useless as he sees nothing wrong with his behavior -- in his mind, the problems are all with me. The other (few) people in the group are not interested or not willing to say anything to him, and often end up silently letting him run the game as he likes.

Husband and my friend who runs the bookstore have both urged me to continue, but each time I go, if this particular person is there, I simply don't want to be there. I get more aggrievation than pleasure or useful information now anyway.

Ugh, what a lot of whining.

Anyway, I'm going to see what I can do about making my day useful.