mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
The RoVaCon 15 Starfleet Vice video, as threatened promised...



So, I'll explain a little of what's going on. I'm in the wheelchair because I'd been in a life-threatening car accident only weeks ago, but I was too stubborn to miss the con. Heather and Valerie are dressed in costumes from the anime Dirty Pair. Mike Allen represented KODRA, a ruthless Klingon-Orion terrorist organistion out to rule the Alpha Quadrant; while Markus... well, he had a lab coat, so we worked that in. And of course, Tom, Mike, and Beth were solely there to support our blatant swipe of Monty Python material.

I don't remember the name of the dude working the camera... but he really liked the anime costumes.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
Speaking of cons, tonight Starr and I were doing just that (speaking of them, that is). Thomas Atkinson friended me back on Facebook today, and when I told Starr that I had an old costume skit of his on VHS, she begged me to dig it up.

That tape, dating from RoVaCon 15 back in 1990, also contains one of the most elaborate Starfleet Vice skits we ever did. The performers for this installment included myself as officer Stubble, Heather McLaughlin and Valerie Brugh as "Dirty Pair" Kei and Yuri, [livejournal.com profile] time_shark as a KODRA Dreadlok, [livejournal.com profile] markush as Doctor Whizbang, Tom Monaghan as officer Paisley, Mike Layne as officer Harold, and Beth Lipes as officer Ruth. The camera operator for the con spent most of the skit focusing on the skimpy anime costumes Heather and Valerie wore.

Many of the jokes are esoteric, but some of them are still fairly funny outside of the late-80s Starfleet context. This little performance would be a good candidate for my first test of the new video-to-computer setup, right? I think we all want to see this posted.

Starr says I'm much better looking now than I was when I was nineteen. Any doubts as to why I'm in love with her?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
Well, I intended to do the Saturday write-up last night, but by the time I got to bed, I was far too brain-dead to even try it. Not much better now, honestly, but I'll still give it a go.

Health-wise, this year ran much smoother than the last. Woke up feeling all right, got a filling breakfast, and headed right on in to the con. Took about an hour to check out all the function rooms and say hi to the lovely people I encountered, then the 11:00 Costuming For Anthropomorphics panel started, so I donned my lynx ears and headed in. Kender detailed some fascinating info about building animal tails that I think Starr will be pretty interested in.

My noon panel actually started at 1:00pm, though schedule confusion meant that I wasn't aware of that, nor were some of the attendees. We found out around 12:30, so we took a 30 minute break and restarted the panel! I answered some good questions, and didn't make an idiot of myself in front of the Windows expert with whom I was teamed. Did a little bit to promote peace between the OS factions, too.

At this point in the day, I entered my 'on stage' mindset, and between costuming and presenting, I spent most of the day in that mindset. I enjoy the feeling: it's exhilarating, but it takes the energy out of me. I didn't really manage to come out of it until early the next morning, and felt heavily drained for most of Sunday. Wouldn't have had it any other way, though.

The PC/Mac panel ended at two, and I took the opportunity to change into my hall costume. The con had no designated costume change areas, so I ended up doing so in the men's bathroom; this process was nothing but awkward and uncomfortable. I would find a better method for my later changes, but undismayed, I did the rounds again and showed off the outfit a bit. To my happy surprise, I won a previously undisclosed Hall Costuming contest, receiving an appropriate reward; and one of the button-makers gifted me with a button reading "Gaseous Dihydrogen Oxide Non-Conformist". (Steam-punk.)

Soon enough, I joined [livejournal.com profile] impink, [livejournal.com profile] southernsinger, and [livejournal.com profile] jameshroberts for the "Whose Con Is It Anyway?" improvisation hosted by [livejournal.com profile] kittykatya. I'm not sure it was my best performance, but our group grabbed enough good laughs from the audience to make it feel like a success. I changed back into street clothes, and from there, a bunch of us including Dwight, [livejournal.com profile] jsciv, and [livejournal.com profile] candidevoltaire headed to Macado's for what was meant to be a quick dinner. Unfortunately, our group gave the kitchen more work than they could handle, and over an hour passed before our food arrived. I had to wolf down half my sandwich on an immediate drive back to the con, where I'd promised to be available for 7:00pm Costume Call judging.

I'd brought another outfit to wear as a judge, but when the organizer discovered that I'd be costuming again, he insisted that I join the Costume Call itself. I found an empty classroom in which to change, hoping all the while that no one of delicate sensibilities would barge in, and reported to the organizer. I think my choice of costume broke judge [livejournal.com profile] hippydippydncr's mental processes; it certainly provided some laughs during and after the presentation.

Sadly, I allowed myself to get far too caught up in good conversation and joking, and had to rush back to the hotel through fog even thicker than that morning's to arrive at my evening lifestyle panels barely in time. No one had a key to the conference room, but I convinced the desk clerk that I belonged to Technicon and got us in. Of course, that report will be behind the lifestyle filter; suffice it to say that I'm not thrilled with the overall result, but I think our audience left generally satisfied. We wrapped up around 1:45, but I got into a late conversation with [livejournal.com profile] nius, [livejournal.com profile] zannyvix, and "Bad Andy"; including a bedtime call to Starr, I didn't get to sleep before 3:30. But I'd managed at least two mediocre meals, and never felt sick or faint, so physically the day went well. I relished the feeling of finally being 'off stage', and fell asleep happy.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
I have pictures of a Nebula Award nominee in cat-alien makeup and Starfleet combat gear.

Heh heh heh. Congratulations, [livejournal.com profile] time_shark!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
Thinking about something [livejournal.com profile] twistdfateangel posted:

There are a lot of people out there who can't have a good time unless someone else is having a bad one. In online gaming, we call them "griefers".

Unfortunately, the costuming field in fandom has a fair proportion of them. They used to make me angry... now I just pity them. (And mock them a bit.) I'll wear what I damn well want to wear to the con, and if it's not quite period, or if the fabric color's a little off, or if I've taken parts of the outfit from entirely different fictions: screw it. I'm having fun. Too bad, so sad that they're not.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Now that I'm digging the Daft Punk, everyone's been saying over and over that I needed to get the Alive 2007 album. Picked it up this weekend, finally listened to it with the speakers turned up on my morning commute. That's some fine commuting music, that is.

It looks like Starr won't be making it to Technicon Last; she can't get out of working that weekend. Her shifts are crazy - it's a regular thing for her to have five days off in a row, but somehow her scheduled weekend shifts always fall on convention dates. It annoys us both. She has more than enough PTO to cover it if she took off, but that requires a great deal of shift-trading, and for some reason few of her co-workers want to work extra weekend shifts. Can't imagine why.

I may have a very memorable con costume this year.

I like Twitter because it provides useful writing exercise in expressing onself succinctly. I shouldn't fret, though, if I miss a few dozen because I'm away from a 'Net connection. Most of the stuff I'll want to know shows up in LiveJournal, and LJ's much easier to keep up with. (Blogging of any kind forces me to keep in mind two good practices: try to avoid that cursed passive voice, and don't write a novel where a couple of paragraphs will get my point across better.)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (daicon-girl)
Having already closed a couple of tickets this morning, I bounced over to my RSS feed reader, which notified me of the day's posts on dailycostume.com.

Clicking through the links, I brought up this particular group of variant Sailor Senshi. I thought, "Okay, cute, bet I'm missing someone's fanfic story here..." and then I suddently realized exactly what the theme in question was meant to be.

All I can say is, there's a weekday afternoon cartoon that I'd put on the DVR recording list.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 14:27 Realized I'm glad that home 'Net is working, 'cause I sure as Hades can't research my MarsCon panels at work. My life is weird (good). #
  • 20:36 Trying to find a sewing pattern which would be a starting point for Kyle MacLachlan's House Atreides uniform. #
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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
It's been a heck of a week, and I haven't had much opportunity to post. Let's see if I can catch up a bit.

As of Wednesday evening, Starr and I began sleeping at the new house. This was slightly impeded by the fact that our bed hadn't been moved yet, and Starr's parents had returned for some of their stuff, so we had to share a twin bed in a guest bedroom. Note: no matter how cuddly the other person is, tucking two people into a twin bed gets old quickly.

I'm now getting up at 5:30 every morning to get out of the house by 6:30. My efficiency's improved, as it was taking me up to 90 minutes to get showered, dressed, and moving, but it means I have exactly enough coherence to drive safely and not a bit more. The commute's indeed an hour; thank goodness for podcasts.

Each day last week, I stopped by the apartment on the way home to grab some more stuff. Slowly, all the vital necessities of life have been put in place at the house, such as transforming Macross toys and Lensman paperbacks. By this weekend, I expect to have the silly stuff moved like cooking gear and clean underwear. (Okay, I *am* kidding about the underwear; that was high-priority.)

Starr's parents left on Friday - or was it Thursday? - but returned once more on Saturday for more stuff, and so we could take her little sister to Nekocon. We only stayed for a few hours Saturday afternoon and evening; I had no idea that the con was so HUGE. 3,000 people were claimed in one press release, and it sure looked like it. I could not believe the number and variety of hall costumes! (Of course, I forgot a camera.) Starr dressed as a loligoth, while her sister wore an InuYasha costume. Many pictures of them were taken, but I have seen none posted; me, I was grumpy that morning, and didn't wear a costume. By the end of the evening I regretted the decision, but oh well.

Tuesday, I had the day off, and I headed back over to the apartment to collect more stuff. Our downstairs neighbors are both military, and were also home; when they found out what I was up to, they instantly volunteered their two pickups, and pitched in on the packing. Thanks to them, we're about 70% done with the move, and should be able to finish this weekend; I had reason to appreciate our veterans even more that day! They were awesome folks.

We're switching the house from Verizon to Cox for our internet and phone, and were surprised to learn the the cable junction box is across the street. Shortly after we learned this, we learned that the underground line to our house is bad, and they'll have to bore a new conduit for us this week. The cable, phone, and Internet at the apartment was disabled on Wednesday, so communications have been impaired. Right now my cell phone and work Internet are my main connections to the world.

Midori has been introduced to Tigger and Precious, two cats we're inheriting from Starr's parents. They seem to be more amused than anything else by her hissing and posturing, and she seems to be slowly understanding the uselessness of making all the fuss. With any luck, they'll civilize her a bit.

This Saturday, I hope to have everything out of the apartment that isn't tucked in my office. Sunday, I'll pack all the little figures and toys and books and such I have on display in my office, and move that over, and at that point the actual move should be about done. We can then spend a week or so cleaning up the place nice before we hand over the keys.

Then... maybe... perhaps... a rest. I don't think that's an unreasonable reward!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
Happy Halloween - the one day of the year I'm expected to dress funny.

In honor of the season, here's an audio recording of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", read by Starr, myself, and other LJ friends and associates of [livejournal.com profile] lemonlye. (5MB mp3 file). You can see the list of participants and the lines they read in this LJ post.

I wore my "Enterprise"-era Starfleet uniform to work today - it's gone over pretty well. What's everyone else wearing today or tonight?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 10:30 Amused that Facebook thinks I may know random people that also work for NASA, somewhere. #
  • 10:57 Lots of Wachovia phishing spam in the last 48 hours. No click from me, impaired-grammar scammer. #
  • 11:44 I *heart* dailycostume.com for all the masquerades I don't get to attend! #
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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (orbiting)
Paramount has released several stills from next year's Star Trek movie. Of course, since I want everything on that big screen to be a surprise, I was able to resist checking them out...

... for all of about twenty seconds.

But I'm cutting it, since I love and respect you guys )
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cool-future)
[livejournal.com profile] tzel reposted an very good article from [livejournal.com profile] steamfashion into the [livejournal.com profile] midlantic_steam community. I believe that this post about the new costuming trend in fandom (which some are already complaining about) reflects an issue that's been around for a long time. With notations and edits, here's my abridged version of the post:

Rule One: Steampunk fashion is a real-world reproduction of the clothing that is or could be found in steampunk literature. It's that simple. Note the phrase "could be" in that sentence.

Rule Two: When in doubt, dress Victorian and then add. Here's a nice simple baseline. Again, that's baseline, not Scripture.

Rule Three: Steampunk fashion is about creating an [entertaining] outfit [...]. Never feel obliged to take away from the style or appeal of an outfit simply because you fear it will be "not steampunk enough." There is no "steampunk fashion bible", and attempts to create one should be ignored.

Rule Four: There is no "steampunk color." Some people have claimed that steampunk is only brown, or only black, or only white, or only light, or only dark. They are wrong. In reality, Victoria herself may have stuck to black, but the rest of the world didn't. And we're not exactly recreating reality here anyway.

Rule Five: You are allowed to like other genres. If you like a style of fashion that does not fit into steampunk be proud of it. This is not One Fandom to Rule Them All, any more than pulp SF, Trek, anime, B5, fursuiting, Galactica, or Firefly were. It is a way for like-minded individuals to have fun.

Rule Six: Have fun and be yourself. That's what this is about. Don't feel compelled to conform with everyone else. Fandom needs individuals and noncomformists. You didn't join the counterculture just to find a clique within it. Express your vision!


I often feel that there are too many rules, too many pecking orders, too many boundaries in fandom. Perhaps some of them evolved from guidelines intended to help the socially unskilled from being complete jerks. But I think much of it comes from people's natural tendency to find a leader and be part of a movement, safe inside something bigger than they are. But fandom's roots are in dreams, imagination, and fun; and when a leader intentionally or unintentionally suppresses that in service to his or her own vision, it's a mistake.

The very first group I hooked up with, Starfleet, had ranks imitating its fictional namesake. The idea was that these ranks would reflect a recognition of service to the club and a responsibility for the club's operation. But some of the fans decided that the rank gave them paramilitary power, and that they could make decisions for the other club members. This caused enough trouble that, eventually, Chapter Chairpersons were specifically advised to downplay the "rank" structure in chapter activities.

Conversely, my own first chapter, and the ones that followed it, encouraged personal uniforms of the fan's own design; ran role-playing sessions in which anything that could be shoehorned into the Trek universe was allowed; and treated 'ranks' as a subject for silly wordplay. (Woe to my first chapter chairperson when she attained the rank of Rear Admiral.) We did massive damage to Paramount canon in those days, but boy, did we enjoy ourselves.

I suspect that the modern preoccupation with the 'right way' to be a fan is partly the Internet's fault; by making it so easy for a fan to find people who agree with their point of view, the 'Net made it less necessary to learn tolerance and even appreciation of the fen who didn't quite. But it also offers more exposure to new and different ideas, and opportunities to have more fun and meet more people, not to mention more places to buy cool costume and accessory stuff, so there's no point in technology-bashing.

Recently, I've had the privilege of visiting some cons willing to relax the boundaries, ditch the unnecessary rules, and throw wrenches into the artificial fan heirarchies. I love this, and I think it's beneficial to nearly every fan. So at the next con you attend, help bring some craziness back; wear a hall costume, cheap or fancy, and wear it your way! Wear a leather miniskirt with your Galactica uniform; furry ears and tail of a species unknown to real or speculative zoology; an anime costume where the fabric choice and sleeve length are darn well inaccurate, thank you; or, horrors, a steampunk costume in red and silver! Sure, some small-minded person may write something insulting in their blog when they get home.

So what? You're having fun.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 18:36 Wow, "Ice Road Truckers" is just like "Deadliest Catch" except, boring. #
  • 19:38 As I suspected, my Jedi robes were ruined by the leaking battery in the trunk. My fault for not cleaning trunk quicker. #
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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (speed+time)
Cyberpunk decker, from Rising Star something-something New favorite bookmark - Gmaps Pedometer. Turns out that the round trip here at work that I've been estimating at 1.25 miles is actually 1.11, and I burned ~190 calories making the trip (or most of one 20oz Coke).

I'm really tired of my spare tire. Not only is it forcing me to get rid of perfectly decent clothes, but a couple weeks ago I was winded just coming up a flight of stairs. This is unacceptable! I am now trying to get at least a mile of walking in every day. I think it's time to try Diet Coke again, as well.

This old convention photo shows how I was built back in the late 80s. Many people these days don't believe this is a picture of me! I think the hair will stay a memory, and my shoulders are permanently broadened by the crutches, but I'd like my chin back, and the ability to see my belt buckle. I really feel that I can do this.

Hmmm, the pedometer says that walking from my apartment to the nearby dog groomer and back is a mile. Think I'll be doing that one on weekends.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (daicon-girl)
After starting the series 6 years ago, I finally picked up the last two volumes and have finished reading the Chobits comic. I liked it a lot, and I'm glad I gritted my teeth to read eight graphic novels backwards. (I usually take in an entire comic page in a glance or two, and reading unflipped manga for me is a bit like taking your car up to 55 mph in second gear. You can do it, but it's not comfortable.)

Y'know, only the Japanese could combine 1) a serious examination of computer emotion and sentience, and 2) innocent, adorable robot girls running around unself-consciously in mildly fetishy outfits. It kept confusing me, because between the clothing choices and the male lead's humorous over-reactions to every situation, I wasn't sure I was meant to be taking this seriously, but then the authors would drop back into the real distress experienced by several characters because of the difficult emotional situations they faced.

The ending doesn't contain any real surprises, but the purpose of this tale is the journey, not the destination, and the last book makes sense of several points that I'd expected to be conveniently forgotten. I no longer trust 21st century creators to do this, so it's a welcome change to be able to believe "we were planning this all along" for once.

In completely unrelated news, Midori has found the basket of laundry that I've just pulled from the dryer, and is at this moment the happiest sleeping cat in Portsmouth.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
Hmm. I learned something from my last post that I wasn't expecting to learn, which is of course more fun that way.

It seems that most of the people I know would put themselves somewhere between "Way of Life" and "A Nice Hobby" on the fandom scale, so apparently we do need another node for the 21st century.

Or do we? I think perhaps I should have stressed more that FIAWOL does not necessarily mean "shallow, pasty, anti-social nerd with nothing to look forward to in life but the next Stargate: Atlantis episode." I answered FIAWOL for myself because fandom touches almost every part of my life, even when I'm not specifically geeking out. Just to name two examples, I got my first job in Hampton Roads because of miniatures gaming; and my significant others have all been fans, and we've had some good times because of it.

When you've got a closet of costumes, a vast library of genre media, at least three devices on which you play video games, have extensive convention staff (or even chair!) experience, and can put Chris Pike and Jon Archer in either chronological or created order... you might just be a Way-Of-Lifer. (I'm not referring to anyone specifically. If you thought I was referring to you... then that perhaps should tell you something.)

But really, you know, that's okay. As long as the bills get paid, the bosses stay satisfied, friends and S.O.s get the attention they deserve, and we get out into the sunlight on occasion, FIAWOL is an entertaining way to spend the days.

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] jdunson suggests that the "F" in each refers to an outdated type of fandom prevalent in the 60s and 80s, and that the fan culture most of us currently inhabit is a different beast completely. (I paraphrase heavily.) Interesting concept, and I believe I can see his point. Thoughts?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)

  • 10:18 Ouch. Had to pass on awesome con costume which didn't fit my waist. I can no longer pretend that my spare tire doesn't bother me. #

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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Saturday I woke at 8:30, thought to myself "no way, not on a night where I have to stay up 'till 2" and went back to sleep. I woke again at 10:30, went to sit up and was assaulted by nausea and headache. Not, "Oh, I feel like crap, oh well," but "oh God I think I may need to run for the bathroom RIGHT NOW." In the hopes that more rest would help, I rolled over until noon. Couldn't put it off any longer at that point, and made it to McBryde in time for [livejournal.com profile] kittykatya and [livejournal.com profile] impink's Fragile Gravity (http://unseenllc.com/) panel. That was fun, especially when Barb had to change a DVD and Chris was forced to improvise for several minutes. I look forward to Book 3!

Well, you know you're at a real con when two good events are going on at the same time, and much as I wanted to see the General Webcomics Panel, the Spin Doctor had a date at Filking 1025. (Tech uses 4-digit course numbers.) I contributed a couple lines to the weekend's official filk, which we actually finished nice and early! What a concept! An impromptu rendition of "The Dragon and The Lady" followed (NSFW), with joking comments about the fact that the local fandom children are being raised on this stuff. To quote a song that Keith often covers, we'll have a generation of well-rounded outcats.

I dropped by [livejournal.com profile] rattrap and [livejournal.com profile] drich's "First Ones" panel - they are the only attendees who've attended every Technicon. I'd prepared a button that read "Technicon Fourth One" (the best I could do). Lots of old memories flew around that panel; hard to believe the con's 25 years old. I'm fairly sure that's a Virginia fandom record, unless you count RoVaCon / Rising Star as one entity. Still, though, the pain, nausea, and light-headedness continued to build. Barb and others started telling me to Go Lie Down. I talked to Starr a bit - she was having appliance issues at the house right before she had to attend a wedding - and finally gave in and went back to the hotel.

Good news of the evening? While I was semi-comatose, [livejournal.com profile] colleenk gave birth to a little boy. Gratz to her and [livejournal.com profile] yubbie! (Unsurprisingly, this made the con accountant unavailable for the rest of the event.)

I really regret missing the Costume Call and [livejournal.com profile] southernsinger's performance. Every few years at Technicon, I seem to come down with something on Saturday; perhaps I need to start over-medicating the week before, or something. I wasn't the only one, either: [livejournal.com profile] shrewlet had a rough day, and there were bleary eyes elsewhere at the con. However, with modern technology, it's likely that the evening entertainment was all taped, and I'm hoping that someone posted pictures somewhere.

Fortunately, I woke up in possession of a far stabler head and stomach before my evening panels, and headed down to the Microtel conference room. Those panels... are a filtered entry.*grin*
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 09:43 Thought of first thing I forgot to pack for TCon. 90-minute side trip this afternoon not worth it. #
  • 21:40 Sitting in the smallest hotel room I've rented in 20 years. #
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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
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