mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (space_tech)
This is the first shuttle launch in decades that I've managed to watch live. The experience takes my breath away; so daring, so defiant, putting people atop all that high explosive and flinging them into the hostile vacuum above us. I'm not always thrilled with my species, but this sort of thing restores my faith in our future... at least briefly.

In a very small way, I contributed to this launch, which only adds to the thrill. I contributed indirectly, to be sure, just by doing my day job keeping the Macs of Langley humming; but I'm proud nevertheless.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
I woke up this morning in an absolutely foul mood, worn-out and upset at the world. About half-way through my drive to work, I realized I had reached that all-too-common state where my irritability had become self-sustaining, and continually fed on its own black blood to maintain its power over me.

Mainly, that realization's a good thing, because the moment I'm consciously aware of that situation is always the moment that 95% of the mood's power evaporates. The down side is that I'll be spending much of the morning, if not the day, having to stay alert against attempts by that remaining 5% to come back and take over again. It's tiring, and still leaves a bitter aftertaste to the hours.

As usual, writing about it seems to help a bit.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (wasteland)
I'm curiously drawn to re-interpretations in modern fiction of the underpinnings of Christian theology, such as the one in the beginning of Tolkien's Silmarillion. Since I've enjoyed Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos novels, I picked up To Reign In Hell at a con or bookstore, and gave it a read.

Well, I tried to. Twice. The first couple of times, for some reason I couldn't get a sense of the characters or the premise. Last night, I took a deep breath, and tried a third time with much more focused attention, getting much farther into it. The attempt didn't work out...

Spoiler-laden discussion )

I still say the Taltos novels are pretty good, and maybe I'll pick up the next one in line, soon, as a palate cleanser. And the first sentence of this post sure is pleased with itself.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (gaming)
Could a techno-magical item in an online computer game be a sign of personal growth in real life?

At level 70 in WoW, players unlock the ability to ride flying critters (for a substantial training sum of 800 gold pieces). At this point, a player will usually spend an extra hundred gold to buy a flying mount, but engineer characters may build their own. (Unless one's second profession is mining, one's going to spend much more than a hundred gold on the necessary materials.)

There's a single part to the flying machine that my miner/engineer didn't know how to make on her own, and it's only taught by one NPC - who would teach her the blueprint if she achieved "Revered" diplomatic status with his organization of dimension-hopping smugglers. The good news is that she could gain 250 reputation points every time she turned in 10 certain emblems that certain slain enemies would drop 33%-50% of the time. The bad news? She needed about 18,000 reputation points to reach Revered.

The good news is that in the process, my engineer looted enough gold to pay for the flying training. In fact, about 14,000 points in, she had enough to just go and buy the griffon flying mount. But, despite temptation, I didn't do so. Enough of the enemy characters had died to populate a small village by this point, and the whole thing had become fairly tedious, but I'd started this job, and something inside me wouldn't take the easy route. I dug in my heels, and little Mirandala collected another 160 emblems.

Now, Mir has her Gnomish Flying Machine (a magical steampunk rattletrap in which the engine misses a few cycles every five minutes or so). And, funnily enough, I'm proud of myself. Sure, it was only a game; but I find it easy to fall into the trap of procrastinating about things, taking shortcuts where offered, or being distracted by shiny things that catch my attention. Here, I chose a task and stuck to it, and now I have something different than the griffon buyers do. Not too shabby.

(Yes, I did much other cool stuff this weekend, including a good party and some general housecleaning. It really is still just a game.)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
Had a chance to sit down and think about my answers to [livejournal.com profile] gryphynkit, and so here they are:

(Rules thing first: to be interviewed, reply to my post asking me to interview you. I then reply to your post with five questions. You should post your answers and this meme on your LJ, because thinking up these questions is hard, daggonit.)

1. What is your favorite episode of anything?
I choose to parse that as "Pick something you really like, and talk about your favorite episode of it." My favorite episode of Classic Trek would have to be "The Doomsday Machine"; I loved episodes where we got to see other Starfleet vessels, making it seem less like Earth had only the one ship. There's some (very one-sided) space battle stuff, excellent lines from Kirk and Scotty in places, and that cool pounding 'space-predator' soundtrack. Absolutely grade-A stuff. The digital revision isn't bad at all, either.

2. Given the chance to meet *anyone*, real, unreal, living or not, who would your top 5 be?
1. If there's a Creator(s) of the Universe, with a form that I can perceive and understand, then I have quite a list of questions.
2. If there are friendly, advanced alien civilizations somewhere out there, than I'd like to meet a member: I have a list of questions.
3. I would like to meet a book publisher who thinks my science-fiction novel is awesome, and wants to give me a six-figure advance on the sales. (The fact that the novel doesn't yet exist in any coherent form is immaterial.)
4. I would very much like to have met Douglas Adams. We could talk about music and Mac stuff all day.
5. I want to meet the people on my Friends List that I never have in person. I generally friend people because I find them interesting, and most of the time, people turn out to be more so face-to-face.

3. What is the Question?
Who are you, and how do you plan to evolve into who you want to be?

4. What person/char/entity would you most like to be like?
Fictionally, I think I'd like to be somewhere between Buckaroo Banzai and the Doctor I mention below. Realistically, I'm pretty happy with who I am at base level, though there are a few qualities - mainly, ambition and drive - that I'd like to have more of.

5. Who is your favorite Doctor?
Oh, I've had my brief flings with Nine and Seven, but there's really no contest: the Fourth Doctor will always be tops in my book. Never afraid to take a stand, never at a loss, fiercely loyal to his companions, unafraid to take the most disastrous situations lightly. Some might say that he's less complex and ambiguous than his later incarnations, but that in itself is pretty interesting when one takes in his background and position.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (menace)
I appear to have recovered from the sinus infection I had before MarsCon only to walk right into a full-blown bout with the influenza. This is an especially impressive achievement considering that I had the flu shot back in November. Go Me. So now I'm into the negatives again with my sick days at work - thank goodness that they're pretty flexible - and sitting in bed taking Tamiflu twice a day and remembering what food and drink were like when my sense of taste was functional. Whine whine carp carp bleh.

It's kinda funny to watch some people acting like Obama has already completely ruined his presidency based on a few choices that I admit I don't agree with either. It's even funnier, in a completely pathetic kind of way, to watch "Rapture Ready" Christians glancing impatiently at the sky while wondering why Jesus hasn't come to rid them of this Antichrist. Y'know, he's just a man, albeit an intelligent, articulate one with some ideas that, if they work out the way he says, could leave this country in markedly better shape when he leaves power. Which he will do, in no more than eight years tops, because that's what the laws of the country say. But he's still just a dude. He's got four more years minimum to try to impress as many of us as he can, and we really ought to give a fair fraction of that to him before we declare him a failure.

(P.S. He's also not the dictator of America. Whether the country is any better in four years has as much if not more to do with what its collected citizens do, than with any orders he gives. The most he can do is inspire, positively or negatively. It's hypocritical to throw our responsibilities as citizens on the President's shoulders and then be angry him if we don't like the way things go.)

Okay, enough politics. Sort of. I had an excellent time at MarsCon, it offered me everything I could want from a weekend fan con and I indulged to the practical limit. I'm already in line for next year's, and I think I may even have contributed to the next chosen theme. I've heard a little bit of whining in places, though for the most part I've put it down to folks with entitlement issues.

But I've also heard quiet murmurs of staff drama. These may be overblown, and already handled, in which case I'm a happy fan. However, as I look at some of the difficulties my favorite cons have hit over the years, I'm seeing a certain cycle. Since it always seems to hit sometime between the con's tenth and fifteenth year, I'm calling it Con Puberty; after years of success, suddenly the con is hit with massive crises of staffing, programming, funding, and or general personality - an identity crisis, if you will. Sometimes they survive, sometimes they don't - often the event will fragment and reassemble as a new con with echoes of its predecessor. But either way, unlike normal puberty, in another 10-15 years, it'll hit again.

RoVaCon survived it once, and was killed the second time; it looks as though Technicon is going to follow the same path. Rising Star rose from the ashes of RoVaCon, then years later survived its own puberty by evolving into a different con with the same name. Sci-Con evolved into a completely different event with a new identity; and now, as I count back, MarsCon has been around under that name for, what - ten-fifteen years?

MarsCon's a great con. To get all circularly Frankensteinian with my metaphors, if the con's indeed having any issues, I'm hoping it's not Con Puberty, but simply a minor, quickly remedied staff infection.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rainbow)
As I am most years, I'm thankful that I didn't get up at oh-god-hundred to stand in line for a discount on a piece of merchandise that will be out of stock by the time I get in the door. As it is, I did leave the house before sunrise, but on the other hand, I was treated to quite the spectacle as the sun came up over the Bay. So, hardly all bad.

Last night, I managed to cook a 3-pound turkey breast perfectly, without doing anything but defrosting it in cold water for two hours and then tossing it into the oven on a roasting pan for ninety minutes. The homemade mashed potatoes came out exactly as I wanted them, and even the brown-and-serve rolls browned properly for once. "Unexpected Thanksgiving dinner" went over quite well to a weary R.N. last night :)

Sadly, I'm reading that some of my LiveJournal friends have had to return briefly 'to the closet' just so they could spend the holiday with family and loved ones. This makes me angry and sad simultaneously. We still live in a world where I still have to filter certain harmless posts to my own journal; but far worse than that, these awesome people have to filter their own lives. I don't dare to hope that I'll live to see this burden fade away... I only hope that maybe the next generation will.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
I can think of several things for which I'm thankful today:

Everything is out of the apartment now except for some random cleaning supplies, and a couple of lamps and a vacuum cleaner that wouldn't fit in the car last night. This will be taken care of this weekend when I drop off the keys. For this I am very thankful to Starr and, well, me. We've both put no small effort into all these boxes.

I am thankful to Starr for many things, in fact; but they're all mushy and I'll save that for some other time.

I am thankful to Starr's parents for allowing us to use their house for the next year or two. We'll be very comfortable here, and we'll be able to save up some money which we'll need to get our own place. (Midori is thankful to them for the gas fireplace, which is one of the best things the furless monkeys have invented since domesticated catnip and the chewy kitty treat.)

I'm thankful to NASA for giving me the opportunity to show me what I could do for them, and to [livejournal.com profile] rattrap for encouraging my developing Macintosh skills in the first place. I'm also thankful to the designers of the Apple Newton, whose long-cancelled product inadvertently provided me with some "hardcore Mac expert" cred in the most recent planning meeting.

I am thankful to the grocery store owners and workers who allowed their stores to be open this morning, so I could acquire the remaining bits of a quiet Thanksgiving surprise dinner to serve Starr, who once again works a holiday.

I'm thankful to the creators and operators of LiveJournal, without whom I'd never be able to keep track of what's going on with all my friends. My peeps are a complicated, intelligent, opinionated, goofy bunch - which is exactly how I like it, and my life would be horribly diminished without them.

I'm thankful to all the people that I like and love that my emo side is awfully disappointed this holiday. I'm supposed to be, and fully expected to be, horribly dissatisfied with my life at this age. Problem with that is, there's so much good in my life right now... how can I let the few speed bumps slow me down?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rainbow)
The time is not too early to note, as John Scalzi does even more eloquently, that the movie's not over.

Last night brought hope to many and anger to many others. But neither the left-wing paradise nor the right-wing apocalypse began at 11pm yesterday; we still have all the social, economic, and diplomatic issues we had 24 hours ago. The new president is a human being who will have to work with, negotiate with, and compromise with other human beings who disagree with him; by this time four years from now, there are likely to be conservatives pleasantly surprised by his administration, and liberals deeply disappointed.

We didn't elect an emperor for life, we elected a Chief Executive for eight years tops. What happens to the country in the upcoming years is still more our responsibility than his: that's the privilege and burden of being an American. I think we can handle it if we choose to.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (orbiting)
Since I was four years old, I have maintained an irrational belief in a color-blind human future where we tore around the universe in shiny white FTL spaceships.

I can't foresee whether, in the long run, history will consider this man a competent president. But I do know that tonight, my species has just taken another tiny symbolic step toward that future where there's only one human race. And yeah, I'm getting a little verklempt about it.

Good night, everyone. See you tomorrow.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cyberpunk)
Speaking of gaming, the WWII superhero game is over in an appropriately cool Big Boss finale. Kudos to [livejournal.com profile] ptownhiker for running a great campaign! But he justifiably wants a break, so we tossed around some ideas.

Next game night we'll be sticking to quick card and board games, but after that we want to start another RPG campaign, and because I'm a crazy crazy man, I volunteered to run some Shadowrun if people were interested. (After all, I ought to do something with all these gaming books, otherwise they're just dust catchers. Someday I want to run more Paranoia and Deadlands as well.)

Several of our group liked the idea, so now I need to return to an earlier concern from my last failed campaign attempt: which edition should I use?

2nd edition pros: I have almost every sourcebook available. I know the system backwards and forward, and could practically run it in my sleep, plus I have a raft of adventure modules from which to steal elements. Cons: This edition is long out of print, and people would be dependent on my books. Hacker characters, an integral park of cyberpunk settings, are awkward to run.

4th edition pros: This edition's currently in print, so people can acquire rulebooks and sourcebooks simply. Hacker characters are much better integrated. Cons: I have only the core book, and might desire to add sourcebooks (they've gotten more expensive). I have some issues with the new rule system, it's a tiny bit less cinematic and flexible than it once was. (OTOH, perhaps I can house-rule that.)

Hmmm, decisions. I'm really glad to be back in a gaming group; I worry that I'm getting a bit anti-social these days, not because I dislike spending time with my crowd, but because it's just easy to slip into a constant state of being tired and busy. I don't want to go there; the best parts of my life have involved my friends. When I look back on all the crazy stuff I've done in fandom, the memories inspire me: I'm determined to keep making more!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
Here are some people with some advice about what you - yes, you - should be doing with your time this week, and the beginning of next month, if you're an adult American.

You may have heard of some of these people. Some of the folks on my friends list may disagree with almost every word that comes out of their mouths. Ironically enough, that's an excellent justification for doing exactly what the people on this video want you to do.


There's some NSFW language, but if you can, watch this. Then, really: do what they say. We'll all thank you.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
While installing OS X Leopard on a customer's computer, we chatted about fine-scale modeling, digital video production, and modern professional typesetting. Suddenly, it struck me: I'm not making this stuff up, I actually can speak with some authority on these topics, cause I've done them, and made plenty of mistakes while I was at it!

Some facets of my life might have been easier had I been able to take a more direct path to where I am now. Thinking about that can sometimes disgruntle me a bit. It's cheering to be reminded of how much I've managed to learn, and how much fun I've had on the way. When I look back to consider what I've actually done with my life, the answer turns out to be more than I thought at first glance; and that somehow makes me look forward to the future even more.

Nice when a bit of unexpected perspective is not bitter, but a treat!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (daicon-girl)
I am turning Starr into a Hayao Miyazaki fan, getting her attention with "The Castle of Cagliostro", cheering her on a bleh evening with "Kiki's Delivery Service", and charming her last night with "My Neighbor Totoro". After "Nausicaa" and "Spirited Away", though, I'll be all out and have to pick up some more sometime.

Oddly enough, by coincidence she'd been reading up on Shinto traditions yesterday afternoon, and recognized much of them in the movie - more than I! I foresee a Catbus plush in our future.

Also, over the weekend I finally saw the "Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" (Rowr.) An intentionally bad 50s-style SF movie, this flick is awesome if the viewer's got the right sense of humor. The associated drinking game required drinks on the words "science", "meteor", "atmospherium", "alien", "mutant", and "skeleton". I didn't participate, mainly because I don't drink, but also because I'd have ended up blasted out of my mind. Why do people need to pretend to be forced to drink alcohol?

The other weekend movie was "Dorkness Rising". I really loved it, and am tempted to buy a copy; good script, nice production values for a low-budget film, and an utterly believable - if silly - look at the GM-player dynamic in tabletop RPGs. Additionally, much of the scenes 'within the game' are absolutely hilarious. Really, if you game and you happen to see this on the video schedule at a con, make time to see it.

I will be 40 years old on November 15th. I'm not sure what it says about me that I'm still reminding myself multiple times per day to act like a grownup. I've taken responsibility for a lot of things in life, and willingly so; I want the perks of adulthood. But it means there's a long list these days of stuff that I can't wait for someone else to take care of for me, and after all these years I'm still learning many of the tricks of handling a grownup's duties.

On the other hand, I am surrounded every day by people who aren't giving that half the effort I am, so I suppose there's hope. :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
Most weeks I wait impatiently for my Kingdom of Loathing turns to build up to a useful level. This week, I've been sitting at the max of 200 turns for days, but I don't have time to mess with it. I guess it's a sign I'm using my time well... KoL isn't exactly productive... but on the other hand, you can't be productive all the time. Makes Jack a dull boy, you know.

On that note, I am going to watch a movie this weekend. Either in the theater, or from my list of DVDs to watch or re-watch. I don't remember sitting through an entire movie since we watched "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" together.

Large Hadron Collider webcam.

One of the two 400MHz CRT iMacs that have been sitting in my office gathering dust since I left Decipher has found a good home - it's in the possession of Starr's youngest sister. She'll probably want to give it an external FireWire HD and/or a memory upgrade before long, it's only got a 10GB drive and 256MB of memory. But it'll do Word and Photoshop and play DVDs, and she seems thrilled with it, so happiness all around. I need to find some old games to pass along that don't involve serious mayhem.

Speaking of productivity, I am attempting to do something personally productive at least once a day. Either spend at least an hour on a personal project, or sit and write something with some thought in it (thus the recent outbreak of philosophising every week or so in my LJ). It doesn't come easy: I am a slacker and procrastinator. But time moves with or without me, and I'm not going to be left behind.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
After watching Yahtzee take apart the XBox 360 game "Too Human", I saw a trailer for the new Warhammer Online game starting up, so I stuck around. Now, I won't be playing "WAR", as it's called, if for no other reasons than a) I'm still enjoying WoW just fine, thank you, and b) as is so often the case, I'm using the wrong OS. One WAR developer's mentioned with a wink that he's working on something important involving his non-Windows computer, but I take that with a Massively Multiplayer Grain Of Salt (MMGOS).

Okay, but I do read the blogs from the beta testers, and it looks like while WAR won't be a revolution in online role-playing, they have a few nifty ideas, and kudos to them if they make it all work. As I've said before, I've long grown out of the idea that my fandoms and other people's fandoms must engage in steel cage matches until only one can stagger out. But the point of this whole entry is the reaction I had to the trailer, a reaction that surprised me. While I might have been interested in the game under other circumstances, I hated the trailer. I had an intense negative reaction to it. Why?

WAR has two 'factions' one can play: Order and Destruction. In the trailer, we see Destruction assault a capital city of Order. Death is everywhere, people dying of (bloodless) sword wounds, spear wounds, arrow wounds, magical fire, magical ice, and crushing mass. The trailer shows us the Dwarves, Humans, High Elves, Dark Elves, Greenskin, and Chaos forces slaughtering each other as the city is knocked apart around them. (I am somehow unsurprised that both Elven 'hero' avatars are females who manage to make it through the trailer unscathed, and in the case of the Dark Elf, scantily dressed.)

So, of course there's war. It's called Warhammer! But the video made something abundantly clear: in the world of Warhammer, Destruction wins.

It may not look like it. The last scene of the trailer shows the three Order races facing some huge monster, and we are led to believe that the resolution is up in the air. But look around the heroes. There are bodies everywhere. The city is smashed. Even should the monster be defeated, Destruction can just come back tomorrow, to a city that's still smashed and carpeted with the dead.

(Oh, I know that in the game, the city will reset overnight, buildings will spring back into existence, and the citizens will respawn. I'm not talking about the game, I'm talking about the fictional world.)

It takes years to build a city, weeks to construct a building, and decades to produce an adult warrior. It only takes hours, minutes, or seconds to end that existence. Destruction is easy. The years of food and housing and training and socializing that went into that warrior are countered with a single arrow. If all one cares to produce is wreckage, the world is quite willing to help.

(This, by the way, is why I had to give up on Battletech fiction after a while. Excellent games, and the individual novels ranged from okay to excellent, but they painted a reality where a star-faring humanity nearly pounded itself back to coal and steam, called a truce, recovered long enough to rebuild some technology, and then immediately resumed smashing everything within the reach of a Jump Drive. And they did this cycle repeatedly.)

Now, the game isn't exactly its fiction. Once online, Order and Destruction have nigh-infinite resources in the long run, and new weapons, warriors, and metropolises with the click of a mouse button. But the fictional background shown in that trailer is far too bleak and pointless for my tastes, and unless the WAR loremasters have something up their sleeves, this is a world that offers me little appeal.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
On my morning drive I listened to a podcast this morning interviewing James Randi, noted stage magician and skeptic. He raved about Dragon*Con, calling it a gathering of 37,000 people where everyone is weird, smart, and surprisingly nice. Randi expressed amazement at the way that everyone "fits in" at Dragon*Con, even a cranky 80-year old magician, and that he'd be attending future Dragon*Cons whenever possible.

Fandom sure doesn't have all the answers, but when we get it right, fandom rocks, doesn't it?

I hope to go next year. I wanna meet some Mythbusters.
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)
  • 07:51 Down from 38-inch waist to 36. The walking and Coca-Cola deprivation is accomplishing something! #
  • 10:46 It's amazing how motivated I can become from just a bit of kudos and recognition. #
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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (dressed)
MTV is planning to remake the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

What a complete and utter waste of time and money. Something as bizarre as RHPS happens once. You can't make it better; after all we don't keep going to see it because it's good. We go to see it specifically because it scrambles one's brain, rinses it, and hangs it up to dry; all the while supported by Richard O'Brien's catchy songs, Tim Curry's matchless hamming, and a theater full of fellow weirdos who, for 100 minutes, are in the same headspace with us.

I wish them good fortune - they'll need quite a lot of it.

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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
mikailborg

May 2009

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