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I'm currently in CA, near San Francisco. My good friend Usakeh's mother has just died, so I have come out here to offer moral support. It's quite a blow for anyone, and harder when your mom is so young. [ profile] millari is here, too, and it's been nice to spend time together. Things I like about it here: it's so sunny and mild; the gorgeous countryside of rolling hills; there aren't any mosquitos to eat me alive when I'm out exercising. What I don't like so much is that everything is more costly than back home in MA. If I were living out here, I'd really have to get a job.

Usakeh's dad is a Stanford prof, and he's been very accommodating of our presence, but I'm sure he'll be pleased to see the end of lounging on his sofas. Happily, it's a large, sunny, pleasant house so there is at least enough room. (Actually, the previous owner was apparently an AV nut, so there's a home theater room that's like a more comfortable version of the little downstairs venue at the old pleasant street theater.

We spent last weekend in Carmel, with U's grandparents (retired professors originally from Vienna), in a gorgeous villa overlooking the sea. It's probably worth millions now, but they've been there for decades and it has a pleasantly lived-in feel. It sort of reminds me of my grandmother's house, for all that it's a comfy Adobe structure on a slope with a gorgeous view of the bay, rather than a stodgy box in North Andover.

Lots of great places to go walking out there, and the most beautiful was Point Lobos state reservation. There were deer, seals, pelicans and many other birds, plus some truly gorgeous terrain and vegetation. I took a bunch of pictures, mainly thinking how Mole Underfield would love them and how he might paint them.

I'm flying back tomorrow, and then... Well, we'll see. No civil politics this week, as we're all away, which is a pity as Cruz and Kasich dropping out leave only Trump in the running for the GOP nomination is probably worth a few minutes discussion.

I have started reading the Three Musketeers, and enjoying it quite a bit. Dumas is quite the storyteller, and it's interesting to me how much I'm enjoying it despite the characters all being rather broad and archetypal. I wonder how much of that is because he created the archetypes? I have seen various movie adaptations, so I'm familiar with some of the story and general plot elements, but it's interesting to see how much of the milieu, the flavor of the story, comes from Dumas. Also, I'd forgotten that he was black. It fascinates me how much of the most popular pop culture is created by marginalized people.
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I'm in a better mindset than my last post. It's tough to resist the old patterns of my family, but one of my friends (I think it was millari but it might have been morlock) summed it up well: don't go back to Andover to care of your mom, go back to visit your mom. And it's true that we already have a great team helping mom, with the PCAs from Home Instead, house calls from Patricia and Margaret at Elder Care Coordinator, financial coverage from the folks at US Trust, and chats with the minister. I'm going to focus on making my time in Andover about what I can do that others can't. Also, when I'm away, I call every day.

Right now, though, I'm in Tarrytown. I came down on Saturday and stayed with friends in Mount Vernon (super pleasant home for a super nice couple) (saw the Last Witchhunter movie, which was just as predictable and ersatz as a Snickers bar). Sunday we had the 'make plans for 2016' board meeting, and in the evening Lefty and I played Pathfinder (the adventure card game not the RPG, because who has time for such a baroque rules system?)* I had planned to drive back home tomorrow early in the day, but Lefty called and asked me to come take him to urgent care. He's got some sort of bladder problem that I think has been greatly exacerbated by an infection? Anyhoo, it was horrible so he needed a ride and a friend while he got treatment. I stayed the night at his place, and this morning the pills are working and he's much improved. Huzzah! (I beguiled the hours after he crashed out by watching Burn After Reading, which was as great as M told me it would be and was like watching a Fiasco game adapted to film, and the The Seven Percent Solution, which I had seen thirty years ago but I hadn't noticed that it's kind of racist and that Robert Duvall's British accent sounds terrible.)

Now I'm heading off with Lefty on a store errand, and then it's home to vote!

{BTW, while driving down, I listened to a podcast recommended by a friend I'll call Vanderbilt, the Blacklist Table Reads, which turns unproduced screen plays into audio dramas. It's a Hollywood thing, but the episode I listened to was Chrome Noir, a 30s crime story with robots that was a lot of fun.}

*I do, actually, in a game that Stoic is running. Honestly, though, if it weren't a long-running and already ongoing campaign, I don't know that I would find it worth the trouble, and I kept my character simple.
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As of January 28, it's been 14 years since I started this journal. I'm older and fatter, yet both physically and emotionally healthier. I have gone from an apartment in Northampton to a house in Easthampton. When I started this journal, Modern Myths didn't even exist, and now I'm looking back at a career there. [ profile] millari And I were just starting to date, now we've had a whole marriage. Feisty has gone from vibrant young little tiger to sleepy old kitty who creaks with the years.

Some other moments worth noting:

This past weekend, I had a lovely supper at a tapas place near Union Square with Redacted. I haven't seen him/her since last spring, so it was good to catch up.

I tidied up in my bedroom and found a number of old cards from [ profile] usakeh. They follow a consistent pattern of apologizing for not staying in touch more, and then thanking me for sending a gift, calling when she was in the hospital, or otherwise reaching out. It's actually rather pleasant to read so many affirmations piled up together. I hope she keeps sending them.

I also found a program from when [ profile] mole_underfieldAnd I went to see Book Of Mormon last March 15th. We very much enjoyed the show. We stayed at my godmother's flat near Lincoln Center, and didn't go out that much. I had wanted to gad about the city more, but MU, as was his wont, preferred to stay in and chill. We tried to get into the Nightly Show, but couldn't. (We went to see American Sniper instead, which was OK.) I spent a fair amount of time reading a book which I quite enjoyed, but now I can't recall what it was.
[edit: China Mieville's Perdido Street Station. Just the kind of immersive fantasy I can't stop eating with a spoon.]

That was, in retrospect, about the peak of MU's respite from the cancer. He went off the chemo for a couple of months after that, and the cancer bore down on him until he smothered.

The weekend of October 4th, I flew to Cleveland to catch the final game of the season between the Red Sox and the Indians. I'd floated the idea to MU last winter, and he said he'd like to go if he felt up to it. I stayed with B, whom I hadn't seen much of for many years, as we'd had a falling out after my doomed romance with Grounded. I had a great visit. We reminisced, and carried on as we had done years ago when we in our 20s. I even dug up an old 2nd edition character, just in case it had worked out that I could join his D&D group for a session.

The weather was perfect, and Cleveland was lovely and friendly. The Red Sox capped a losing season by getting beaten 3-1.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
Stoic has been running a pathfinder game inspired by the Sharpe's Rifles books for a couple of years now, I think, and I joined in about a year ago as a !Quaker chaplain. It's been quite fun, the sort of game that makes it worth dealing with all of Pathfinder's rules apparatus. A couple of months ago he decided that he wanted to run a session only every other weeks, so I offered to run an alternating Deadlands game. (Why Deadlands? I was familiar with the Savage World rules after playing in another one myself, the rules are fairly simple but flexible enough to allow for players to customize their characters, and the feel of the game with an initiative system using a poker deck and drawing fate chips from a bag would be a nice change of pace from what the other guys were used to.).

We're down to four of us, just now, so I invited MaMEd to join us for our first session of 2016, which was yesterday--I thought it would be a good excuse to see more of him. On the spur of the moment, after stopping by the shop and chatting with Successor at the Roost, I invited her to join. Given how busy she is, I was shocked she said yes, but I'm delighted I did so. She hit the ground running, and her shapeshifter bounty hunter is a great addition to the group. Ironically, MaMEd had to cancel at the last minute, so I'll have to work him in next time.
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Today, I got a tutorial on the basics of editing audio files with Audacity. This will be useful, I'm sure, at some point in my radio career. I also went shopping in Hadley with Stoic. Maple line Farms and Aldis are, he says, the places to get the optimal combination of fresh produce and groceries at low prices. It took longer than my usual method (go to a market, fill the cart with the stuff I want, pay for it, and leave), but who knows? It might do me good to spend less money.

I made my cannellini, artichokes, portobellos and stuff over rice dish, then M came over and we three played Dominion. It was fun. I look forward to perhaps trying it again, maybe with something other than the intro set up of cards.

Chatted online with [ profile] usakeh and now I'm posting this. Am I really forming a new habit?

Oh, and my show went well on Friday, and mom listened in using the iPad I got her for Xmas, so that's starting to pay off.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I started 2016 off well. I spent New Year's Eve with MaMEd and his family, swapping gifts and enjoying each other's company. The Attraction game (which is like playing marbles with magnets) was a big hit with Princess C. Saturday into Sunday was a lot of games. [ profile] millari and I had a nice supper at Mulino's Saturday evening, followed by some Chrononauts at her place. Sunday was twelve hours of gaming fun at my house. M came over, as well as Suave, and folks from my Deadlands/Transhuman gaming group (until I come up with nicknames: SS, TJ, JEL, JE). We played a cute trick-taking game called Friday the 13th, then Lords of Waterdeep (as there were only five of us yet–poor M had to wait an hour for us to finish, but was very chill about it–and it was a close game to the end), and all seven of us played Shadows Over Camelot. It turned out that none of us was a traitor (only 12.5% chance of that) and we managed to find the Grail, retrieve Excalibur and Lancelot's Armor, defeat the Black Knight, and drive off an invasion of Picts. Ironically, we won by allowing an invasion of Saxons to proceed, thus filling up the Table. After that, Suave took off, so we played Unspeakable Words (the Lovecraftian word game) and more Friday 13th. Then TJ and M departed, so the four of us remaining wrapped up with an old chestnut (for me, at least), Reiner Knizia's Lord Of The Rings coop game. I got that game back in 2001, and I have played it dozens of times (according to the scoring sheet), but not since 2007. It was a bit of a roller-coaster as I tried to recall the rules, but the hobbits managed to chuck the ring into the fire all the same. Poor Stoic, who has been my houseguest for the past month as he reboots and regroups, is also recuperating from an injury, and he felt too unwell to join us. Perhaps next time.

It was enormous fun, exactly why I keep trying to have these sorts of parties. I hope to have more luck with them in the year to come.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
At my brother's memorial service, I lined up five other people (my uncle, an old flame of MU's, Hannah-Belle Goulet, a long-time family friend who used to be our neighbor, and [ profile] millari) to share their memories of him before I got up to speak. I wanted to keep things moving because Mom gets tired easily, and I wanted to allow everyone else to say their piece, so I kept things simple. (Also, I wasn't sure quite what to say. It's tough for people who have lived in the valley their whole lives to properly describe the mountain to outsiders.)

...and thanks for all the fish. )

At the reception, following my brother's request, we sang Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. About 100 people turned up, some of them quite unexpected, like the Battler, whom I hadn't seen in 20 years; or Suave and Sydneycat, who both made the drive from the valley; millari's parents; many of the people who have been providing home health care; people from MU's school days, both old & recent. Thanks especially to Millari for returning from Germany for a week.
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So, had a lot on my plate this year, and I have neglected LJ, despite vastly preferring it as a place to post more openly and personal than, say, facebonkers.

This year has seen my father die of old age, my brother get cancer (and hopefully recover), a friend from college die of cancer, and me having to step suddenly to more responsible at work.

I didn't work at all in May, but it didn't really recharge me like a vacation, so I'm taking one now. At this moment, I am at the Sheraton in downtown Atlanta, having just picked up my badge for dragoncon. Unlike last time, I'm here alone, just looking to have some fun, visit some friends, and I hope to meet shiny fab in person. I know I know others here, and I hope to see
them, too.

good party

Nov. 17th, 2012 01:37 am
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I drove down to the grand opening of our new store in Mamaroneck NY this evening with Mad Dog and his charming kids. There was a good sized crowd there (30-50 people) of enthusiastic customers, which suggests to me that we have done a good job of creating buzz about the business over the past year. Also, there's a very tasty pizza place nearby, and one of Lefty or Fuschia's friends really knows how to bake a cake.I have been working with a personal organizer who calls her business Chaos Control. It's helping clean up my place, and brighten my mood. I'm back at work as normal on Monday, but I'll fill in tomorrow running the Magic draft. I'm really glad I accepted an invitation at the beginning of the year to join a gaming group playing Deadlands . I like the people, the system and the campaign (and my character) and I'm glad [ profile] millari has joined us. Looking forward to seeing my cousin from HI over Thanksgiving. Mom finally seems to be on the mend (knock wood). Today, she was able to stand on her own, and she's no longer feverish during the night. And, in trivial news, I came across an essay suggesting watching the Star Wars saga in a particular order(ep IV, V, II, III & VI, omitting Phantom Menace entirely) will drastically improve its narrative tension and impact. I haven't tried it yet, but if I learned anything in grad school, it's that narrative inclusion/exclusion and order make an enormous difference to a story.

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I have taken this week off from work, in the hopes of clearing my head and getting a better handle on managing my life in light of the problems with my parents' health.  I seem to need some help, too.

It's an ongoing grieving process as they fail and die on the installment plan.  My Dad is slipping slowly.  His mental acuity has declined, so that he's much like the other human ghosts in the home, and he's physically much less steady on his feet.  Soon, I think, even a walker won't be sufficient.

Mom has returned to the rehab hospital, and hopefully will not bounce back to the hospital for more acute care.  The good news is that she is definitely recovering from the back surgery: she can sit up without pain, her legs don't hurt, she doesn't look so washed out.  The bad news is that she's despondent and a bit confused. She's not remembering new people well, and she's asking me about driving back to Maine or called M by the wrong name.  It's too early to despair, but this is what Dad's dementia was like at the beginning.

On top of that, I'm worried about what we are going to do in the longer term.  Mom will, I hope, go back home by the end of the month, but I don't know how mobile she'll be.  We have arranged for some in home care for now, but in the longer term, if Mom needs a walker that house becomes very difficult for her, and impossible if she's in a wheelchair.  Finding a new house is something we have all acknowledged will be useful, but I'm at a loss for driving the process forward.  I'm more reactive than strategic in my thinking, and that's a weakness in this context.  The stress of confronting a problem whose limits I can't define, the next step for which I can't see clearly, and the consequences thereof could be severe for my family, eats at me.

Personally, I had a terrible job review last week.  Honestly, it was more of an intervention.  I have, apparently, gone from being a great ASM to a bad one because of the stress and worry and sadness I'm dealing with.  This is not merely a knotty problem, or an extended crisis, it's a protracted grieving process.  Apparently, it's leading me to be short with customers and employees, which cannot stand.  I'm definitely forgetting things as they slide through my ADD brain without sticking.

The worst thing about it, though, was not hearing that I need to straighten up and fly right.  I have heard such things before, and while I'm somewhat chagrined that I need to be told, it's sadly part and parcel of ADD.  No, the worst was realizing that I needed help, and that these three people in what was ostensibly a professional context were going far beyond the call of duty to throw me a lifeline. 

I'm ashamed that I let things get so bad they had to step in.  I'm ashamed I didn't ask for help sooner.  I'm especially ashamed at how Lefty, who I honestly feel like I can annoy at any moment without meaning to, made it very clear that he trusts and respects me professionally.  (He even offered me a job as his full-time #2 again with the NY store.  O.o)
EDIT: It occurs to me that I suffer from the fond delusion that I'm a bit like the Doctor: the compassionate madcap who pops out of the background from time to time, helps people, and then disappears while folks shrug and get on with things.  

I guess this sort of distress is hard for me to notice. Instead of causing pain, it causes numbness.  I'm going to have to do better in keeping it in mind.  I need to work on re-establishing and maintaining my domestic routines, which will help me keep it together.

Which is my project for this week. So far, I'm off to a crappy start, with dozing away much of yesterday and today, but I have at least paid some bills, done some cleaning, and seen my therapist.  I'm going to call a personal organizer to come and help me set up some systems to better control the chaos towards which I tend.  I also could definitely use help from friends.  If any of you would care to come by and help me sort through the clutter, I'd appreciate it, especially if you could come over and help me sort comics perhaps tomorrow evening?
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I'm working a 12 hour day here at the NY store, and another full day tomorrow.  It's only our fourth day open, so things are slow.  The store looks good, but there are lot projects to work on before we're ready for the grand opening.

My mom is apparently running a fever of 102 F (44 C) and has gone back to Holy Family Hospital.  I'm starting to grasp that she's really ill, and that this won't be over soon.  :(

New York is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  I'm staying with usakeh, and many roads in her town are still blocked off by fallen trees and severed power lines.  There a long lines at every filling station.  I fear this is just the first taste of our societal collapse as climate change accelerates, but it's great to see the way people here are rallying  to meet the challenge.  They're even excited to see a new comic book store. :)

I think I'm finally figuring out what I want from Grounded, so I guess all the driving around has been helpful.

I just saw a short video by a Mount Holyoke professor in which she discusses correcting a congenital vision problem she had, and how she trained her brain to correct it in her 40s.  

The big election is on three days away.  I hope the candidates I support win, but more than anything I fear that no matter who we elect, we won't do what we must to save ourselves.  It's frustrating that years of Bible-thumper ranting and cynically poisonous Republican rhetoric have made scientifically valid warnings that we're on the brink of disaster sound like just more political bloviation.
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I had a long talk with the Morlock this evening, commiserating about his recent reversal of fortune, the prospects for President Obama's re-election, whether Marvel comics is totally out of ideas or not, race vs class warfare, employee relations, and what the fuck is wrong with rich people?

Along the way, he called me out on being a good person, and I was more or less OK with it.  I'm uncomfortable with simply asserting "I am a good person", lest I become Jane Eyre's aunt, but I do make a conscious effort to fit the criteria for moral goodness, which to my mind means 'courteous, humble, compassionate, diffident, reflective, curious, funny, and generous'.  I have achieved some success in my efforts, and several of you have been kind enough to validate me over the years, much to my discomfort.

One of the things I admire about Grounded is that, in surviving a difficult childhood, she granted herself permission to believe in her own self-worth.  She's far from arrogant, but she is very comfortable with who she is, the life she lives, and what she wants.  My own path has been somewhat different, and there are different pitfalls that I have had to navigate (a topic for another post), but I think I might be ready to start giving myself that same permission.  I hope that I shall not fall in complacency.

For my next trick, I'll come up with a blurb for myself so I can maybe start dating or something.
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Still waiting for a chance go talk to Grounded. She texted me today:"crazy busy. Will try to call next week." Somehow this leads me to suspect that she may not feel as intensely about me as I feel about her. This makes me sad. I'm trying to give myself permission to feel sad without being prematurely negative or telling myself how dumb I am to feel so. (and I don't want to assume its going to to badly in advance. That hasn't served me well in the past. I'm starting to think that there may be some validity to the notion that happiness is a matter of habit, that it takes practice and an open to heart to accept good things in life. To that end, I called some friends to join me in activities that would make me happy, which is why I'm typing this at the Cinemark while M and I await the 10:05 showing Avengers.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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This has been a tough week for me, though I'm not sure why. I think it's a combination of:

1) 'Tis the week before Christmas, and folks are shopping. Which is great. The last three days before Xmas have been big days for us in lean years, but the week before that has been strong this year. A sign that the recession is easing up, I hope. BUT, it means that I have been working a lot. 12 hours on Wednesday, 8 hours today, etc.

2) Feisty still sick with whatever sinus problem she's got. She's sort of stable, and is happily purring beside me now, but her breathing is sometimes labored. I had an appointment to take to Worcester (an hour's drive) for an EXPENSIVE MRI tomorrow. Which is not the most convenient time for me.

3) M is away with family in Mexico. I'm glad she went, I love her and her family, etc. She is also one of my bulwarks against depression, so I miss her.

4) My dad is in really bad shape. His blood pressure has been mostly stabilized, but his dementia has drastically worsened, to the point where he has mood swings, fits of rage, and he's asking when his mother is coming to visit. He's going to require 24 hour one to one care, even in a nursing home, which is going to cost a fortune.

5) My mom's heart is breaking from grief. (I think my brother is holding up better, but I know this must be especially hard, since he's right there at ground zero.)

Tonight, I got out of work, decided to go see a movie and eat out. I made a few calls, but no one was free. I wanted to spend time with a friend, but nobody seemed just right: either they were busy, or I knew they were free, but somehow it was too much effort to call them. I found myself starting to cry as I sat in my car. So I called M in Mexico.

Which brings me to the good part of the post–my friends:

1) M was out for dinner in a noisy restaurant with her family, but she spent ten minutes talking to me, helping me figure out what I wanted to do, and being supportive.

I went out to dinner at a place that was hosting a karaoke night in hopes of meeting another friend, but they couldn't make it. But the food was tasty, which perked me up, and I found Tom Lehrer's Christmas Carol, which was just the ticket. I wanted to sing at least once, to push my comfort zone, and respect the event I had gone to. Also, I am a yuletide merchant. :)

2) After that, I went home, and spent some time talking online with usakeh and bottledgoose, both of whom were sweet and helpful and make dates to do fun stuff with me next week. (Muppets!)
And I watched some Leverage with Usakeh and Gigitastic, which made me happy.

Then I took advantage of a scheduling problem at the vet clinic, and moved Feisty's check up to next week, when M is home (so I won't have to do it alone), and swapped shifts so I'm free after Xmas, and BSC doesn't have to get up and work immediately after her overnight shift. Win-win, I think.

3) PLUS, I had a nice evening with sundart and spouse on Monday, with MAMEd and family on Tuesday, and my old friend J called from Atlanta to talk for a while on Tuesday morning. Thank you to all my dear friends, for reaching out to me when I'm dropping the ball on it. I really appreciate your support. Sorry I'm not giving as much back.

4) Feisty may not feel well, but she still loves me, and cuddling with me still makes her happy. YAY!
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Last year, I wrote about badly screwing up with a good friend. I have meant to write an apologize for some time, but I haven't gotten around to it. Happily, with the impetus of holiday cards, I finally have.

Below is what I wrote, which I'm recording here as a reminder that I can push through my emotional blocks sometimes.

Dear R & C,

Many times this year past I have wanted to write to say how sorry I am that I was such a jerk to R. Whether it was finding little notes that you had written for weeks when I had missed group, or a stack of postcards for the reading C organized, or other moments that recalled your warm hospitality, hardly a week has gone by when I have not been reminded of you. I have put off writing because I feel so ashamed of myself that it's been easier to leave this for later.

One great thing about the holidays is that it's a season for reaching out to people who have touched our lives. So, I'm writing to say that I'm sorry, that I miss you both, and that the time I spent as part of your 'salon' meant more to me than I then knew or can now express.

Happy holidays,
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[ profile] millari and I slept in a bit, and then had to scramble to pack our bags and tidy up enough to leave the room behind before Joke and his adorable daughter arrived. [ profile] fuschia headed for the airport before we did, and [personal profile] blue_crow and [ profile] blaaksable dropped by to say farewell, though they mostly spoke to M while I bustled about.


We checked out, piled into their car, and drive to a café called the Flying Biscuit, where we met the Reverend Mrs. Joke (pray for a better nickname) and their surprisingly well-behaved three-year old son. 

We tried the biscuits in gravy, which were absolutely amazing, and put the rest of the quite good food to shame.  We talked about the con, and travel, and comics, and all sorts of random things.  I suspect that we were a welcome bit of grownup interaction for our friends.  I really love Joke, and his family has completely charmed me.  I very much wish they lived next door.

Then they took us to their place, where we gave Joke a birthday gift (two games: Chrononauts and Pandemic) and they showed an episode of a sitcom called Big Bang Theory featuring a pointless and geeky variant of Rock, Paper, Scissors, which, despite adding the additional options of Lizard and Spock, still completely failed to resolve any disputes between them.  I have to admit, I laughed, despite my being too cool to enjoy any sitcom.

Then, a mad dash to the airport, a tolerable flight home, picking up the car, driving home, ended in a late bedtime.  The cats were only normally psyched to see us.  Clearly, our cat sitter did a great job in making them feel loved and secure.

I had a sore throat by that point, so I spent most of Tuesday sleeping, and then BAM!  Back to the soul-crushing grind of professional nerd-dom.  :)

ETA: some press coverage of this year's con.  None of them mention me.

The Emory University paper on the whole con; the Journal Constitution on the Shatner/Nimoy panel (with video clip), the DesMoines Register on the guy who organized the blood drive, and someone at a website called BSC Reviews on her Con experience, complete with cute pictures of her daughter.

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Day 3:

Another slow off the mark day.  In retrospect, it's clear I was coming down some sort of con crud, but at the time, I just felt moderately washed out in the morning.  Whatever was going on, I slept through the 10 AM Torchwood panel, the 11:30 Q&A with Gene Wolf, and wound up getting to the con too late for either the Hellboy panel with Scott Allie  & Mike Mignola or the Patrick Stewart appearance.  I also missed, at various points, all of the frakking Babylon 5 panels, and the intriguing panel on the still in production 11th Doctor episodes.  I did, however, make omelets for the three of us, and lunches, and clean up a lot of the mess from the raucous Squee party.

I can't recall exactly what M and I did once we actually reached the con, but we soon wound up hanging out with the bubbly [personal profile] nicole_anell in some other person's suite, waiting for [ profile] sabaceanbabe to come by with a video she made for M's birthday (her contribution to [ profile] freshcraftmills .  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!)  For some reason, I was feeling sort of depressed and maybe even crabby.

I went off to catch a panel in the Hyatt about the Space Ghost Coast to Coast cartoon, but I couldn't find the room.  Instead, I wandered into the art show, which was OK, and then into the comics room, which was cool.  I chatted for a bit with David Petersen about how cool Mouse Guard was, how well it sold in our store (both the comics and GNS, and the RPG as well), and asked him to keep us in mind if he ever did a signing tour in the Northeast, as we'd be delighted to have for both comics and gaming events.  I also spoke with a sales rep for Avatar Press, and learned interesting things about their actual inventory levels, versus our ability to order reships from Diamond.  

[I also noticed, but forgot the name of, an artist who did some funny yet hot drawings, featuring stuff like a half-naked Batgirl lying in bed, with the Bat Cave behind her, thinking "Boy Wonder indeed", or Lt. Uhura pulling slave-garbed Princess Leia into a passionate kiss.  I actually felt rather self-conscious while I looked the booth over.  The artist approved of my grammar matters T-shirt.  I think her name was Cat Staggs, but I'm not sure.  Cat Staggs, however, definitely did this awesome Dr. Girlfriend piece, and it looks similar to what I saw, so I'll leave it at that for now.]

Perhaps fortified by my foray into schmoozing retailer mode, I then managed to find [ profile] spacepug in the lobby upstairs.  I ill-advisedly ate a hot dog and chicken fingers.  (No serious consequences, but over the next couple of hours I came to understand that my digestive tract did not approve of these culinary shenanigans, and that I should have waited for similarly overpriced, but tastier, food.)  Anyway, SP and I chatted for a bit while we waited for M and her M to join us.  [ profile] fuschia spotted us, and we socialized for a bit before she went off to a Dark Fantasy panel (?), and then SP and I went and found [ profile] millari in the Marriott, and eventually settled down to chat for about 90 minutes about... nothing earth shattering.  Gossipy stuff about the housing market in Vancouver, and living with injuries, and other things that I can't even remember.  I'm pretty sure I actually let the other two talk for a significant portion of the time, too.  It was a high point of the convention for me, though, from the simple joy of spending time with someone I quite like, even though I still don't know her that well, yet.  I look forward to our next visit.)

We might have chatted for hours more, except that I noticed there was a BSG panel in five minutes, so we dashed down the stairs and went to that.

and now it's really late, so I'll finish this up tomorrow.  I still haven't gotten to our dinner with AJ. :)

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obla di

Aug. 8th, 2009 07:15 pm
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Millari is home!

Yesterday, we hosted another Church Of Otis Bad Movie Night.  The Pope, St. Watserface (& Concubine) and Syd joined us for two entertainingly poorly made films.  The first was Modesty Blaise, a mid-60s action flick with five different directors and a female lead who spoke no English and learned her lines phonetically.  It did, however, have both Terence Stamp as an appealingly roguish criminal and Dirk Bogarde as an evil mastermind with a horror of violence and a different color theme in each scene.  It had random costume changes, a musical number, and lots of bad accents. 

The second was King Of The Zombies, a 1941 flick, just over an hour long, about a Nazi scientist in the South Seas, a voodoo cult and zombies.  It was as dumb as one might imagine, and also featured tons of blatant racism, especially around the character of Jefferson Jackson, the black manservant to one of the white leading men, as played by Mantan Moreland.  I see that Moreland played a lot of cowardly black servants in the 30s and 40s, and was considered funny, but with the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 50s, he was seen as emblematic of rejected stereotypes.  It was uncomfortable to watch, especially since he really was hilarious, thanks to excellent delivery and perfect comic timing.  Also, honestly, he seemed the smartest and most interesting character in the piece.  I'd love to see more of his work.

Today, _usakeh_ came out for the day, and we watched the first couple of episodes of Life On Mars (the original BBC version with John Simm).  I had heard it was fabulous, and it did not disappoint.  We'll watch more later, in tandem.


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