Painted.

Jun. 15th, 2009 12:56 pm
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I have to give massive, massive props here to Michael, Crystal, Riff, and Kimmie, who gave their weekend to helping me paint my condo, a project I started and abandoned -- oh, the better part of a decade ago, actually, and living inside the unfinished results has been pretty insanely depressing. But now my home is well on its way to being a proud and brilliant gleaming white, and I can't thank my friends enough.

We completely finished the living room, the dining room, and the hallway, including the interior of the hall closet, and I tell ya -- it looks fan-freaking-tastic. We even got a decent start on the kitchen. Both it and the bedroom are, sadly, not very big -- so it's really not going to take a lot to finish the place.

This is just the start. I finally have the time, energy, and cash-on-hand to start making this place livable, in a way I haven't managed since I moved in here -- what, fifteen years ago? Something like that.

And when I'm done ...

....I think I'm finally going to have a housewarming party.
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So, yeah, last Thursday I went to that Doctor Who party I'd mentioned, and set up all the decorations I made for it, and it was .... Hmm. I don't know if it was the best night of my life? But it's easily in the top five.

I've posted pictures and build notes of everything to the [livejournal.com profile] crafty_tardis community -- enough of it that I had to split it all into two parts. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Part One: Monsters and Villains
Part Two: The TARDIS
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This is a little manic and breathless, but I'm still really amped. :)

Oh good Lord I had way too much fun yesterday. The Mercury was holding a superhero/supervillain themed costume night, and I basically just devoted my entire day to getting ready for it.

First I went to a thrift store to get what I needed for my outfit (more on that later), including an unrelated shirt and pair of pants that color-matched almost perfectly. Then I went to Display & Costume to get a couple of accessories. While I was there, I spotted a Batgirl costume that I thought would look cute on [livejournal.com profile] windbourne, so I sent her a picture of it.

Then it was off to help [livejournal.com profile] retcon get a costume together. I'd remembered the night before that I still had a DC Comics "Vote for Luthor" promo button somewhere, and suggested he just wear that, one glove, and a suit, and he loved the idea. But come the day, I can't find the damn button, but hey! Fortunately, I'm a professional graphic designer (sometimes) and I own a button maker, so I designed him a new, much better and larger one anyway. (fig. 1)

Then it was off to more thrift stores -- I was providing both my knowledge of the area thrift stores, and my usual incredible luck with same -- and found him a really nice suit jacket, shirt, and tie. Perfect.

He dropped me off, and I went and picked Ahna up at work, and we headed back up to D&C so she could try on the costume, but they were already closed by the time we got there. No matter -- she'd already said that she probably had some stuff at home that could be turned into a Batgirl costume if that didn't work out.

I still needed one more piece for my costume, so we stopped at, yay!, another thrift store, where I got what I needed and she made some amazing finds for her costume. Awesome boots, a yellow belt, a neat velvet skirt. We were trying to figure out what to do for a cape, and then I thought, why not take a skirt and slit it open? So that's what we got. Then it was back to her place to work on accessories and assembly.

My costume? I was Mr. Incredible! I've been wanting to do that costume ever since the movie first came out, ever since it showed this hero who had pretty much my apple-shaped build, but was still presented as strong and powerful and, well, incredible. And I finally put it together.

I used craft foam to make my logo. Never used the stuff before, would highly recommend it. Easy to work with, great results. There was plenty left over to make Ahna's logo, detailing for her utility belt, and the ears for her cap. (She didn't go for a full cowl -- she used a black hat, the ears, and a set of goggles propped over it all for a slightly steampunky Batgirl. It looked really awesome.)

This all took sooooo long -- we didn't leave her place until after 11:00pm! But it was all worth it. Everyone told us we looked great. Even random strangers were complimenting me on my costume. Which makes sense -- I mean, who didn't love The Incredibles? It was nice to borrow some of the love and goodwill that Pixar has generated for a little while.

I was insanely happy. We're already plotting changes for the next version of these costumes, to bring to Norwescon. Pictures were taken -- I will post links when they're on-line.
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Looks like I can talk about this now:

"[T]hough the competition was aimed at finding just one winner, the judges were so impressed with the quality of many entries they've decided to extend the prize.

'We had an incredibly strong shortlist of the best 25 entries,' explains Guerrier. '[...] we felt our shortlist was of such quality that it deserved a whole book of its own.'

This special anthology, deftly titled How The Doctor Changed My Life, will be published in late 2008. The 24 runners up are:

Violet Addison; Steven Alexander; Mike Amberry; Arnold T Blumberg; Anna Bratton; John Callaghan; Dann Chinn; Stephen Dunn; Richard Goff; Peter Hallbright; Tim Lambert; JR Loflin; Nick May; James C McFetridge; Simon Moore; Michael Montoure; LM Myles; Einar Olgeirsson; Bernard O'Toole; Andrew K Purvis; Michael Rees; Mark Smith; Chris Wing; Caleb Woodbridge."

bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/news/cult/news/drwho/2007/06/19/46091.shtml

ZOMG.

Feb. 12th, 2007 07:29 pm
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I'm posting this from home. Thus ending three years without net access.

Thank you, Clearwire. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] retcon.
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[livejournal.com profile] windbourne has always been a big fan of Threadless, the too-cool-for-school online T-shirt vendor, and has told me many times in the past, "You should submit a design to them!" I've always been intrigued by that idea, but their recent contest, along with Ahna's prompting, made ne finally go ahead and do it.

Two of the three designs I submitted got rejected -- but they liked the third one, which was my favorite, too.

You should go vote on it! (You'll need to start a Threadless account, if you don't already have one.) If it does well enough in the voting, they'll actually make them and I could win stuff. And I like stuff. Go check it out.

Night of the Loving Dead - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

See the full design )
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So my publisher is having me flown down to San Francisco for the weekend so I can attend the World Horror Convention. (There is no way I can say that and not feel like a rock star.) I leave this evening and will be back Sunday.

This is the first time I've been on a plane since I was about 12 years old. I'm a little nervous. Not about the plane falling out of the sky or being high-jacked by mad Arabs -- more along the lines of "ohmigod there's a thousand rulesandregulations and what if they send me home for having the wrong size carry-on luggage??"

*deep breaths*

Ah, well, onward and upward (literally). Things to do, people to scare.
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I keep forgetting to post a link to this -- !

The other day, I was down at my mom's house, doing a little work on my TARDIS prop, and on my TARDIS console prop. Here's a photoset of them.

Basically, I updated the signage on the TARDIS to match the prop as seen in the 2005 series. Also, I finally added a Time Rotor to the console (that's the tall, clear cylinder in the center). I'm very excited about that. The main body of the console I built with my dad when I was thirteen, fourteen years old -- sometime around then. Finally putting something I'm happy with in the center of it was kind of like putting the last spike in the Transcontinental Railroad. It was a neat moment of collaboration between past and future.

My mom's reaction was, "It's too bad your dad can't see this." On consideration, she added, "Or maybe he can."

---

For those of you who have wondered, yes, I am still going to make the film, even though he's not still here to see it. It'll be a tribute, at this point.

(I'll admit, I stopped being in a big hurry to get it done when my dad told me several months ago that he was having a lot of trouble following television shows and movies. It really, really would have sucked if I'd finished it in time for him to see it, and then he wasn't able to enjoy it.)

Catch.

Sep. 23rd, 2005 03:41 pm
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Wednesday night, at [livejournal.com profile] ursako's instigation, [livejournal.com profile] windbourne and I joined her at the Crocodile for their annual Cure cover night. As you may know, The Cure are pretty much my favorite band of all time, so I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

Then Jodie Watts took the stage. After a number or two, the lead singer looked out into the crowd and said:

"You know, we've got a lot of room up here on stage, so if anybody wants to come up here and dance, that'd be great. Actually, we've got a spare microphone up here, too, so if anyone wants to come sing with us, you can."

They're kidding, I thought. They can't really mean --

"Come on! Come on up here! You probably know the words to this one!"

And they started to play the opening notes of Just Like Heaven. My favorite Cure song ever.

A song that, for literally years, I've harbored a secret desire to sing, on stage, in front of an audience. Honestly.

I couldn't! I don't have the nerve --

The singer must have seen it all on my face, because then he pointed right at me and raised a questioning eyebrow.

Oh, I thought, what the fuck. And got up on stage.

---

"All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music," Walter Pater once said. I love doing my readings, don't get me wrong. I like being up on stage and weaving pictures with words. But I walk away from them, sometimes, wishing they had the immediacy, the energy, of musical performance.

Maybe that's overstating the case. Maybe a simpler way to put it is, I sometimes wish I were a rock star. Sure. Who doesn't?

For just a few minutes there, I got to be one.

It was an impossible moment; it was that Walter Mitty moment everyone secretly hopes for that never really comes, that kind of "Is there anyone on board who can fly this plane?" type of moment.

As impossible as, say, for example -- getting a second chance to know the girl whose name I never caught.

---

There is, at the center of my life, an impossibility. An impossibility that flashes me Cheshire-cat smiles, all soft curls and eyes dark as night, a glint in them like stars. A secret that sits in the middle and Knows. She reminds me that you can hold on to the impossible, that miracles happen all the time to those who reach out for them, that I can have everything I ever wanted. Be everything I ever wanted.

"As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same," Marianne Williamson wrote. "As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Consciously or unconsciously, just by being near me, she gives me that permission. And I shine.

Elected.

Sep. 7th, 2005 10:27 pm
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The voting results for Mauve And Dangerous - the Doctor Who 2005 Fiction Awards are in, and one of my stories took three awards. Hell, yeah.





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This morning I was still pretty rattled and twitchy and edgy about Hunter's death. I feel a little self-conscious being this upset over the death of a man I've never met, but he really was one of the people responisble for fueling my own desire to take a typewriter and fuck you right in the eyes with it. (The other one is, natch, Harlan Ellison. I'm going to be inconsolable when that bastard kicks it.)

Aside from that, well .... My friend Max has a post that sums up the same reactions I had. You should go read it.

So anyway, yeah, I wasn't in a .... bad mood, exactly, just a little depressed, slightly aggro, just generally off-axis. I even smoked a clove while driving my truck, which I've never done before. Just odd.

I went and kidnapped [livejournal.com profile] windbourne, so she could help straighten me out and be productive. First a trip to Beth's was in order -- I thought that would fit my nerves quite well. We relaxed over a late lunch and I sat and read The Seattle Sinner, which made me feel better -- it reminded me there are still people out there trying to point fingers and scream Truth.

We went to my place to see if I could figure out my taxes. Now, this was a Very Big Deal, since I've never once done my own taxes before. It was always my parents, or Renee, or [livejournal.com profile] treebyleaf. And this year's were even more complicated, since I'd worked as an independent contractor and had no idea how that all worked.

I figured I might have to bite the bullet and pay someone to do them for me, but I figured I would sit down and poke through IRS.gov and see how far I could get.

I actually managed to figure it all out, and finish it. I'm kinda blown away by that.

Ahna is excellent company for something like this. She's exactly the right balance of supportive and yet laid-back. She was a second pair of eyes as I was looking everything over, and helped me not panic. Eventually, I told her I thought I had figured out how to get started, and let her go curl up and take a nap on my couch while I crunched through the forms. Even just having her there and sleeping helped.

When I was finished, I found that the amount of money I had haphazardly socked away in savings was going to more than cover the amount I owed. *whew*

I felt totally relaxed and accompished. I made us a nice dinner, took us to Krispy Kreme to celebrate, and took her home.

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