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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in ClayGilbert's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
12:46 pm
Words
Can't think of a better title for this right now, and really, this is just a 'pet peeve--must bitch' journal, so perhaps it's not worth obsessing over the title ;)

So here goes.  As both an English teacher and a writer, it continues to horrify me just how often I encounter people--mostly at work, both co-workers and customers--who just cannot use the English language.  There are the generic, probably-no-hope-for-rectifying errors like 'she doesn't have no internet' , which always makes me want to say 'If she doesn't have 'no internet', then she must have the net, and so why is she calling?'--when, of course, I know perfectly well what the person means.  So I don't say it.

Then there are the even more infuriating cases, which tend to occur when someone *thinks* they are making a particularly concerted effort to speak properly, and are instead manifesting an epic language fail of galactic proportions.  The all-too-prevalent word 'irregardless' is an example about this.  Please, people--'irregardless' not a word.  It is a double negative.   'irr', frequently, but not always,  is a prefix meaning 'not', or 'without', as in 'irresponsible', or 'without responsibility.'    'Regardless' already indicates 'without regard.  It's already *in* a negative state.  I'm pretty sure all these people using the word 'irregardless'--and my graduate-school-educated, nuclear engineer father is one of them--are not trying to say 'without without regard.'

Also in the 'trying too hard' category are the people who misunderstand the purpose of little words like 'to' and 'for', 'who' and 'whom.'  I encounter these errors most often when I overhear other customer service agents giving their greeting on the phone at the beginning of a call.  "To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?"  Ugh.  Fingernails on chalkboard.   NO.  "To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?" Yes.  Even worse: "With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?"  Delete one 'with' or the other, please.  If you were to ask these people what function each 'with' in that sentence serves, they wouldn't be able to tell you.  It probably just 'sounds right.'

It's too goddamn bad that it isn't ;)

Language is fast becoming a tool of expedience, not of precision, defined by sound, context and assumed meaning, and not by grammar and syntax, a fact sharply hammered home by some of my students, who from time to time have asked me, "Why do I need English if I'm not going to be a writer?"

When language devolves into slang, sound, and assumed context, we will be left isolated in pockets, on islands of language only shared by those who speak the same vernacular we speak, since the last bookstore will long ago have been closed, and the fire of our once-rich language will have burned down to a text-font symbol on a computer screen somewhere.

I'm not missing the irony of those last words, but it's still a problem--and a pet peeve--that continues to get under my skin.
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
11:15 pm
The Music of the Night
I have the strange feeling I've written another journal about this same subject, with this same title, before--but if I have, so be it.

I've just come from watching the live broadcast of the 25th Anniversary production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera", performed at the Royal Albert Hall--and shown tonight at West Town Mall. It was magnificent.  Since I first knew this broadcast was happening, there was no way I was going to miss it.

I tell anyone who asks that my favorite musical *film* is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it is.  But my favorite *stage* musical is not The Rocky Horror Show (which isn't *really* the same as the film), but The Phantom of the Opera.  It's been a part of my life since I first heard the soundtrack sometime in 1987, and then first saw it on Broadway in 1989.  I've seen it in London and Atlanta, also, and of course, I've seen the movie (which, sadly, is great, but a step down from the play).

Tonight's production starred Sierra Boggess as Christine and Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom--the same pair who portrayed these roles in Lloyd-Webber's wonderful "Phantom" sequel, "Love Never Dies"--although it's worth mentioning that both of them had played the roles on Broadway in POTO before LND was even written.  They were magnificent--as was the show.

Not everyone loves "Phantom", but it strikes a deep chord with those who do.  For me, it taps into a similar Dionysian energy as does "Rocky Horror"--that space of tension between what the night-time part of us wants, and what the daylight world demands.  Not so big a fan of the daylight world, me. :)  And neither am I a fan of Raoul in "Phantom", smarmy, entitled rich kid that he is.  I side more with the passionate, flawed, tormented artist who is Erik, the Phantom. And the original musical, although it clearly makes the Phantom a sympathetic character, and one more complicated than pretty-boy Raoul, leaves a space for the viewer's loyalties to fall on one side or the other.  Not so much in "Love Never Dies"; that's clearly the Phantom's show, and maybe the one-sidedness of it is why that production didn't find an audience in its initial stage run.  I liked it, though :P

Anyway--"Phantom's" themes of 'forbidden' love and Dionysian/Apollonian conflict continue to resonate with me--and I'm sure, with many.  Plays don't last 25 years without tapping into something deep within the audience.  Kudos to Andrew Lloyd-Webber for this and his other musical triumphs...it's a longevity well-deserved.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
1:35 pm
The Best Kind of Forever
Wow, it's been a year since I last wished a happy birthday to my best friend, Brian....aka stephenhero around these LJ-ish parts.  Has a year really passed that quickly? Again, wow.
Some years, it almost feels like nothing really changes between he and I, except the trappings of our lives.  For my own part, sitting with him in my room in my parents' house playing Atari games, or making some of our early music in my parents' garage, feels just like yesterday.  And then, when I think not only of the kid he was when we were kids, but of the man he's become--because yeah, that happened to us too, along the way--I have to say it also feels like forever ago. :)

But it's the kind of forever ago that leaves great memories behind to be treasured, and the anticipation of new ones--the best kind of forever.

Happy birthday, man.


Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
4:30 pm
Annah and Jane
Just got back from seeing "Jane Eyre" at Downtown West.  I haven't read the novel in six or seven years, and all that I really retain consciously of it is the nature of Jane herself.  So, seeing the movie was interesting. When I first started writing _Annah_, the idea of a character-driven domestic drama coupled with a larger-scale political and social drama sprang fairly quickly from the characters and what I came to know about them.  I began to think it might be interesting to meld this kind of story--done so well by the Bronte sisters and by Jane Austen--with a science fiction milieu.  I still didn't necessarily do it *consciously*, and I'm sure the literary merit isn't equal ;)

It was fairly interesting to find out how very much Jane (Eyre, not Austen )and Annah are alike--both are willful young women whose social circumstances cast them as outsiders in their societies; both have rather particular moral codes, and both find themselves torn between a potentially-tragic if spiritually-lofty love and a more socially-palatable union.  I didn't do it on purpose ;) 

I'd honestly rather see Annah as having things in common (even though there are considerable differences) with someone like Jane Eyre than with Neytiri from "Avatar".

Anyway, just something I noticed today.
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
3:32 pm
Still Alive :)
Writing from the breakroom at work. 
I've been taking a LJ sabbatical, mainly because I've been working, working, working and writing when I'm not working.

Annah has grown.  100,000 words now--approximately 400 pages--and not ending yet.  So, my overly ambitious plan is at least a *couple* of novels.  I hear that anything longer than 400-500 pages isn't going to be received well in the publishing world, at least not from an 'unknown'...so I'll split things up.  Looking for a place to wrap up the first third of things now...hoping to have a draft done in around a week, then on to the second book.

We'll see if this plan materializes.  I think it will.
Monday, January 31st, 2011
9:55 am
Fail...
Crap.

Reading rhiannonhero 's journal this morning, I realized that I completely missed Cecily's birthday, for the first time, I think, in her whole five years of life.

I feel like a bad uncle.  I guess it proves that the constant cycle of this new job at Sitel has had me kind of tunnel-visioned; that and spending a lot of what tiny amount of spare time I have writing, not wanting Annah to turn into the five-year project that Dark Road's composition was.

Anyway...Happy Birthday, Cecily.  You are a bright star in this universe, and one that I see growing brighter and stronger with every day and year.  I hope this one is the happiest yet.  I love you.


Thursday, December 16th, 2010
1:57 am
Hammer and Nail
Well, I've been at Sitel for two weeks now, and I'm still enjoying it.  I'm sure it'll be fine, too, getting out onto the call-center floor and out of the training classroom next week.

It's awesome to close out the year with a full-time job again.

I'm not going to have the draft of _Annah_ done by Dec. 21--the anniversary of my beginning the novel--as I'd hoped, but maybe by my birthday in January.  Goals are good. :P  Work on it is going well, and she's still talking. :)

And still finding new songs she likes to 'sing' along with.

Here's one she's liking a lot, lately.

www.youtube.com/watch

Back to writing, before sleep.
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
6:34 pm
Music and Words
November already.  Wow.  When I started Annah right around the Winter Solstice last year, I promised myself I'd have a first draft done by Yule of this year.  So, while apparently a lot of people are using November to write a new novel, I'm going to use the next month and a half to finish one.  And then start doing some revisions.

In the way that things tend to happen with a number of writers, including myself (obviously), songs have been continuing to suggest themselves in connection with events in the book.

Two songs cropped up this week as ones Annah herself seems attuned to, and I guess I can see why :P

Another post that won't make *much* sense, but will make a little bit of sense, to a couple of people out there.

Here are the songs:

"Sunny Came Home", Shawn Colvin
www.youtube.com/watch

"Hands", Jewel

www.youtube.com/watch

"Annah sought to view her emotions the way she would see the cycles of nature around her—like the changing flows of a stream, or the sprouting of new shoots in seed-time, and the harvest when the time of Full-fruit came upon the land. It is the way of things, and I must flow with it, or else be drowned. And I will not be drowned. “Tell me what happened,” Annah said, her voice calm again."

...more later.






Sunday, October 31st, 2010
12:21 pm
Halloween and Other Holidays
This started as a response to something rhiannonhero posted in her journal, but rather than clutter up her responses with a huge spewing on my part, I decided to post this in my own LJ.

I'm pretty sure I've said this here, there, and everywhere, so apologies for that, but...

I love Halloween.  On the one side, there's the religious side of it, for me, Samhain--a chance to celebrate the end of one cycle (it was the Celtic New Year, after all) and the beginning of another, and a chance to honor loved ones who have passed on (this year, my Grandmother Gilbert and my beloved kitty-girl, Athena).  Also a chance to remember that. no matter this silly business of boxes in the ground and big granite gravestones, those who have gone are never as 'gone' as we think (Just MY perspective, not meant to condescend to others).

On the other hand, I love the holiday for its secular merits as well--the costumes, and the celebration of horror films and monster films and things creepy-crawly
Come over to my apartment on Oct. 31, and during most of the day, you'll likely find me watching one horror film or another, including the classic monster movies most jaded folk of today no longer find interest in (they're some of my favorites).

Already watched today: The Exorcist III and Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Up later today: John Carpenter's Halloween, Let the Right One In, and tonight, the premiere of AMC's new series based on the outstanding comic book The Walking Dead.  And I'm sure that won't be all.

In sharp contrast to a lot of people's views, I have little use for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Thanksgiving is nice, for the food, but the days of large family gatherings for Thanksgiving, in my family, are gone--too many people have passed on.  It's good to get together with my parents, and good to be thankful for what we have, and I do like the Macy's Thanksgiving-Day parade--but so much of the holiday is manufactured historically-inaccurate nonsense (And gee, Rhi, you thought YOU were a grump?).

Christmas is another thing.  Yule--the Winter Solstice-- is *my* Christmas--the day my faith celebrates the rebirth of divine light in the world.  The older I get, the harder it is for me to stomach all the 'Jesus is the reason for the Season' revisionist *bullshit* that is heaped up around this particular holiday.  Again, there are things about Christmas I love.  I'm a sucker for Christmas specials.  Love them. I also love getting together with family and friends (which, once again, doesn't happen that much anymore, except for with my parents), and exchanging gifts.  I also like going up to Dollywood and seeing the decorations.  But the *holiday*, itself, Dec. 25--feels like a grafted-on falsehood to me.  And I get very tired of certain portions of my culture telling me about the 'real' reason for Christmas.  News flash for you folks: the 'real reason' for Christmas is that the early Christian church decided they'd better get their own holy day stuck on the calendar around Winter Solstice, stat!--or it was going to have a hard time dealing with all these damn heathens ;)

I'm not a Scrooge--any excuse to feel warm and fuzzy is great to me.  But what I really enjoy, my favorite of them all--is this one night, tonight, when the monsters walk free, the shadows lengthen over the land, and those of us who desire to can put on, not the drab plainclothes of our dreamless modern culture, but the wild and outlandish trappings that, for some of us, aren't costumes--but the real selves society doesn't like to see.

Blessed Samhain, and Happy Halloween. :)
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
10:00 pm
"Let Me In": A Second Take
Well, actually, it was my third time seeing the film--this time with my friends Brian and Rachel--but it'll be my second time writing about it here.

I'd say the film is nearly as good a remake as you'll find, short of those truly groundbreaking ones, like John Carpenter's The Thing or David Cronenberg's The Fly, which truly re-imagine the material.

I didn't want a re-imagining of this material, so I'm glad Let Me In doesn't do that.  I find myself loving the portrayals of Abby and Owen, by Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee respectively, more each time I see the film.  They really make the movie for me.  In particular, Moretz gives Abby/Eli more of a 'normal little girl' energy than in the original film--well, all except when she's tearing someone's throat out with the aid of some truly overblown CGI effects.

I feel like the love story is equally emphasized in both films, although the question of 'is she picking him just to be a blood provider' seems answered a bit more decisively here--in the negative.

I miss some of the gentleness and subtlety of the original film--although there's gentleness to be found here as well, and some subtlety, if not of the same variety as in LTROI.  I may have said this in my earlier post/review of the film, but to me, in this version of the story, Owen and Abby's relationship seems to say (at least from Abby's p.o.v.), 'Maybe it'll work out *this* time.'  As a guy who's been married twice and divorced twice, that's something I can appreciate.  That rather wistful shading of matters makes the new film's ending feel more bittersweet than the original does, but I still tend to see it, as John Avidje Lindqvist and now, Matt Reeves, writer and director of the new version does--as a happy ending.

Perhaps, in a long life, in a world often more dark than light, 'happiness for now' isn't a bad objective to start with. And just perhaps, happiness for now may become happiness for always.  I still like the version of things that John Lindqvist proposed in an interview shortly after the release of the original Let the Right One In: that eventually Eli/Abby turns Oskar/Owen, and they live for eternity as little vampires feeding off the more malevolent parasites of the world, and happy in each other's company for always.  Both film versions leave this ultimate ending for the viewer to conceive of for him or herself--but, as in life itself, I think there's always room for happily ever after.  I thought LTROI certainly conveyed that, and I think Let Me In offers much the same message--even if (ironically, given the new film's lack of ambiguity in other areas) the new film casts a bit more doubt on the eventual outcome.





Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
10:04 pm
Dream It, Don't "Glee" It
Okay, so I just got through watching the "Rocky Horror"-themed episode of Fox-TV's "Glee."

And I'm kind of angry.

Not because the songs were much smoother and more homogenized than in the film.  Not because there were censored lyrics--but because of the mixed message the episode sends both to viewers and to fans of "Rocky Horror." 

In the episode--and I'm annoyed enough not to care about spoiling the 'plot'--the head of the glee club decides to put on "Rocky" as the high school play so that he can get closer to an ex-girlfriend of his who is a big "Rocky" fan.  Many of the students get excited about the show, and there are even positive messages about how some of the students, through the 'don't dream it, be it' message that the film and stage play espouses, learn to feel better about themselves, their confidence, and their body image.

So far, so good.  But as anyone who knows "Rocky" is aware, the show is likely to offend straight-laced, conservative, 'morally upstanding' folk.  The kind of people who use the word 'gay' to mean weird, and are more concerned about 'family values' than about preserving the rights of people to love who they want, how they want.  It does contain some language that might push the edges of acceptability for high school theater.  But--at least in my opinion--it doesn't contain anything in it that's *harmful* to high-school kids.  The *news* is probably more harmful to high-schoolers than "Rocky Horror" *ever* could be.  And those who spend their weekends attending midnight screenings of "Rocky Horror" are doing something a lot safer, and a lot more 'wholesome--ironically--than going to some party where they can get introduced to the dubious joys of underage drinking or drugs.  *Many* "Rocky Horror" theaters--such as the Plaza Theater in Atlanta, home to the performance cast "Lips Down on Dixie", pride themselves on being a drug free, alcohol-free refuge for kids, for *just* that very reason.

Back to "Glee".  On last night's episode, a local conservative newswoman--and school official--infiltrates the ranks of the glee club "Rocky" cast for the purposes of exposing the "Rocky" production as a danger to the school's teenagers.  In the end, the glee club president cancels the show as a public performance, although the club ends up having a private show for themselves--a wretched compromise, in my opinion.

This episode plays both sides of the fence, politically.  It shows reasons why "Rocky Horror" has appealed to people, young and old, for 35 years now--it's a musical that celebrates the embrace of difference, and acknowledges and laments the difficulty of being an outcast in the world we live in.  The musical performances exploit the popularity of "Rocky" in its anniversary month, and on the eve of production of Fox Studios' new remake, to be directed, not coincidentally, by "Glee"'s creator, Ryan Murphy,

But the 'inappropriate for teenagers"--a demographic to which "Rocky Horror" *always* has appealed--label seems designed to pander to and coddle the ignorant, conservative sheep which are a large part of Fox's own constituency.  They don't mind making money off of "Rocky"'s longevity and reputation, not only by stunts like this "Glee" episode, but also by means of the proposed remake--but they don't seem to want to stand behind the message of freedom that the play--and, even more importantly, the film, which has reached and touched far more people--has always represented.

It saddens me that the studio which, in the 1960s and 1970s, brought into the public eye entertainments like the social criticism of "Planet of the Apes", the groundbreaking vision of "Star Wars", and the boundary-stretching of "Rocky Horror", has become a bastion of safety and an agency of conservative paranoia and capitalistic greed.  The only reason Fox is even thinking about a remake of "Rocky Horror"--a film that doesn't even need to be *touched*--is that they could make even more money off of it.

I wanted to like this episode.  I don't bear "Glee", in general, any ill will.  But I'm not likely ever to watch the show again after tonight, purely out of principle.  "Don't dream it, be it" is a message that should be celebrated.  Just because the dreams of one person or another aren't 'acceptable' in the eyes of everyone doesn't mean they should be shut down.
 

Thursday, October 21st, 2010
10:58 am
Endings and Beginnings


Well, as I wrote on Facebook, Athena passed away last Friday.  She'd seemed like she was 'slowing down' for quite a while, until finally, she stopped wanting to eat or drink.  Mom and I took her to the vet on Thursday of last week, and Thursday night, she ate and drank, just like her old self.  Friday morning, she was no longer able to walk, and over the course of two hours, it became more and more obvious she wasn't going to make it.  She vomited up everything she'd eaten the previous night, and started having tremors...she didn't seem to be in pain, although she might have been.  They looked more like, to use a naive phrase, silent sneezes.  Once that started, I gently picked her up and laid her down on a towel in the living room floor.  I stroked her, and talked to her; told her it was going to be all right and that I loved her, that I always had and always would.  And in a few moments after that, she was gone.

I'm a grown man--I'm thirty-nine years old, and I know the way the world works.  I know that people and animals are born, live a little while, and die.  And I know she was a cat.  But something about seeing one of my most constant companions of the past fifteen years just pass from life in my living room--it was pretty devastating.  I was, however, glad she died here with me and not in some sterile vet's office. I spent Friday afternoon and evening, and part of Saturday, realizing just how silent the apartment was going to be without her--and also realizing that I'd known this day was coming without even really realizing it.  I knew that most cats didn't live much longer than fourteen.  I spent Saturday night with my parents, after work--and somewhere in the midst of that, I started thinking about the silence in my apartment again, and considering the idea of getting another cat.  I had intended to wait until the end of the year--but it wasn't something I could do.  I hope that doesn't sound callous, or as if I undervalued Athena or her death.  However it seems, it wasn't like that at all. 

Sunday, as Dad was driving me home, we stopped at PetSmart to look at the cats there who were up for adoption, all of which had been rescued from one bad life situation or another.  I ended up falling in love with a six-month-old little tabby girl named Bella, who looks a lot like a more greyish, shorthaired version of Tempest, the first cat I ever had--Bella even has the stripes and raccoon-rings around her tail.  Bella's eyes are brown, not green, though.  She instantly warmed to me when I got her out of her tiny cage, purring and rubbing her head against mine.  I was told she'd been abandoned at a garbage dump.  She needed someone to love her--and I felt like I could do that.  "Bella" was already her name, incidentally--I just happen to like _Twilight_ just enough to let her keep it.

It wasn't about replacing Athena.  That could never happen.  She was nothing like Tempest, or Merlin, or Taliesin.  She was her own girl. And those who know me, I think, know I'll never forget her. 

After filling out adoption papers and a short day and a half waiting period, I brought Bella home on Tuesday.  She's already adjusted well.  She's her own girl as well--which is good.  She has some things about her that remind me of Athena--she seems smart, and she's definitely sweet.  She's got some of the feistiness that Tempest had--time will tell if that's just kitten-energy.

She has her own strange habits--among other things, she's fascinated with watching the words cross the screen as I write, and she chases the mouse-arrow as I move it, as if I were throwing a ball for her. She likes playing a version of hide and seek we call 'Where's Bella?'--even if sometimes she plays by her own rules and won't come out at first.

It's a new beginning, and I think it's a good match, both for me and for her.  Athena was never 'thrown away' or abandoned, and if I could help it, I wasn't about to let that happen to Bella, either.



Friday, October 1st, 2010
3:58 am
Los Alamos Love Song
I just got back from seeing Let Me In, the English language remake of the beautiful Swedish film Let The Right One In.

How was it?  If you love the original, you'll love this one, too.  You'll still think the original is better, but you'll love the remake.

Some things are different: the setting here is Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the lead couple's names are now Abby and Owen.  But the heart of the story is the same.  This film is darker, scarier and more violent than the original, but the love story that lent the original film its humanity and poignancy is intact--and perhaps even deepened a bit.

Chloe Moretz and Kodi-Smit McPhee, the two child leads, are excellent.  They don't make you forget Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leanderssen from the original film, but nothing about the remake will make you *forget* LTROI.  What they--and the film as a whole--do accomplish is to make even a viewer who loves the original film as I do willing to accept this remake as a new and valid adaptation of that film.

In watching this new film, the discussions I had about the original with my friends stephenhero and rhiannonhero echoed in my mind.  I think this film--and their mileage, when they see it, may differ--leaves even less room for the question of whether Abby's love for Owen is genuine.  The question here doesn't seem to be 'will he be her new blood provider', but 'does any love last forever?'  The film, like life itself, doesn't offer a clear answer.  But the fact that such a human question is foregrounded in a film like this one is only one of the many things that make this touching and terrifying film worth seeing.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
9:12 am
Leaves of Autumn
Just a few notes...

Yesterday was the Autumn Equinox; the Wiccan Sabbat of Mabon.  Hard to believe the harvest-season is here again, nearly time for the cold sleep of winter before spring re-emerges...

Healing and blessings to my friend rhiannonhero , who has her hysterectomy today, and to my friend stephenhero as he helps things run smoothly through her recovery (but he helps things run smoothly a lot, anyway).

Finally, we're just a matter of days from the Oct 1. release of Let Me In, Hammer Films' English-language remake of the wonderful Let the Right One In.   From what I hear, the new film has its own dark magic about it.  We shall see.

I'll write more later.
Monday, September 13th, 2010
12:36 pm
In The Shadow of the Dragon
It's taken me a while to get around to my annual Dragon*Con wrap-up post this year--mainly, I think, because there was no free Internet access in the Hyatt lobby this year,and no roommate with a laptop, and so I didn't get to give myself a head-start with nightly diaries as in the past two years.

But here we are.

Every year, getting to D*Con tends to feel a bit like a struggle--getting reservations in place, and then getting money in place, figuring out transportation and who all is going--but the struggle is always worth it.  It's a place that feels like a family, not just an assemblage of strangers in a hotel for a common celebration of shared media obsessions and consumerism.

I've been to a lot of cons.  I've been going to conventions since 1981, and Dragon*Con is the only one i bother to go to every year, anymore.  And I'd go no matter who was on the guest list.  Unlike, say, Chattacon, D*Con is huge--it spreads out over five hotels and goes on 24-7 for five days, and if the numbers were honest, it's a bigger draw than San Diego Comic Con, which shuts down at 6 pm every day.  But SDCC is more a forum for the entertainment industry to show off, while D*Con, even though it makes a profit, exists for the fans.  As someone said this year, at Dragon*Con, 'we are all a family.'  And that feeling is palpable, every year.

This year, there were some problems.  There were a number of women who were groped, assaulted and otherwise made the object of unwanted sexual advances.  I didn't see any of these things directly, but I've read about them, extensively, in the D*Con livejournal community, and in emails from friends.  I *did* see, as I have the last few years, a great many drunk football fans roaming the halls to gawk at the people in costume (and out of costume).

As in big cities, with large numbers of people comes the likelihood that people will get out of hand, and other people who don't deserve to be hurt will be.  This is something that the powers that be at Dragon*Con will *have* to deal with, or our enchanted geek-nation will become a place a lot of people don't feel safe inhabiting.  Some people have already reached that point.  By and large, though, it's still a place that feels like a tribe--even for most of the female congoers I know.

That out of the way, I have to say that I, personally, had a great time.  It was fun to go with a number of friends who'd never attended before and see their minds collectively blown by the fannish magnificence of the occasion.  It was amazing to finally meet Stan Lee, a generous and very humble guy whose imagination has created characters who have lived in my own dreams since I started reading comics at the age of four or so.

Working on staff was great again--I contributed (well, hopefully) to the success of panels about H.P. Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley and the ethics of vampires, got to talk with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and others once again, and got to meet new friends like Skyler White, whose vampire novel And Falling, Fly I mean to read as soon as humanly possible.  I also got to attend a panel with popular author Jim Butcher, as well as the notable Batman writer/artist Neal Adams, whose work I've loved for years.

Emerald Rose and the Cruxshadows gave excellent performances as well--in some respects, ER and CXS are the town criers and tribal shamans of the D*Con community, offering their art as a way of binding many of us together from one year to the next.  Congrats to Rogue and Jessica of the Cruxshadows, who announced from the stage at this year's concert that they're expecting their first child.

The annual performance of Rocky Horror had another special guest from the film's cast--this year, it was Patricia "Magenta" Quinn.  She's getting on in age, perhaps, but she still has a fire about her--she's a bit like someone's sweet old grandmother--if your grandmother wore fishnet stockings, still had the legs of a twenty-year-old and made jokes about taking a whole crowd home with her ;)

The days flew by, but since our group stayed until the con itself closed down on Monday evening, I can't really complain :P  All good things must come to an end, and I know I'll be there next year.







Sunday, September 12th, 2010
12:32 am
Rocky Horror "Glee"
As I'm still collecting my thoughts on the geeky blast that was Dragon*Con 2010 (and which I'll write about in the next entry), I ran across this story today....apparently "Glee" is having a "Rocky Horror" themed show in October.  I'm *so* going to watch that.

Which makes me think of my friends rhiannonhero  and stephenhero ...Rhi's expressed an interest in seeing the film, and stephenhero  saw it once, a long time ago, under less than opportune circumstances ;)

I'm wondering if a movie night might not be in order? :P

I'll definitely be watching that "Glee" episode.

Here's the link to the story:

http://fangoria.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1982:its-the-rocky-horror-glee-show&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=167
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
9:15 am
DragonCon, here I come :)
About to leave for the convention...

Can't wait to get down to geek central :)

I'm sure I'll be posting as possible during the weekend...I'd kind of like to document things better this year than last.

Next stop..the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
9:26 pm
Seven Days...
Seven days until... this :P

Full Banner 468x60

Can't wait.
Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
5:34 pm
Tempus fugit..

...Must get more original with journal titles sometime.

Wow...but the tempus does fugit. ;)  2 weeks until DragonCon.  I'm working five panels this year, and in need of refreshing my memory on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the life of Aleister Crowley.  Fun stuff--I love D*Con.  My friends McKay and Jenni are coming along this year for the first time, along with some not-so-first-timers.

I'm making headway with _Annah_--some fun intergalactic war stuff going on right now.  She doesn't think that's fun (nor do I, really) but it makes for an interesting story.

Must find a new full-time job. 

Life is good, even if I wish some gestating seeds in several areas would bloom a bit more quickly.

Annah would probably tell me--since her people are more connected to such things--that trying to force a seed into growth isn't the most balanced way to go about it.

And that's probably true.

More later, even if the next time I write is from the Con.


Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
1:34 pm
It's been three weeks since I wrote last, so I'm resurfacing again ;)

Not much is new around here--teaching a summer course, doing advising and tutoring, and continuing to work on Annah.  Oh, and yes--getting ready for DragonCon in a little over a month.  

I'm working on staff for the Dark Fantasy track again, although in a slightly different capacity.  I'm going to be mainly serving as a personal assistant to the track's director, Derek Tatum.  So far that's meant I'm the one who's been in charge of making up the work schedules for the regular staffers--not difficult at all, really.  I think this new role may end up making my actual workload at the con lighter, but who knows--I'm just happy to help. 

Stan Lee will be at the con this year, and for a lifelong comic-book geek, that's big news.  I may have said this before--but it bears repeating ;)

Still trying to find a new full-time job, and I have to believe something is out there.  It would be ideal to get something in place just before D*Con, and slide right in after Labor Day weekend.

Still looking forward to the release of Let Me In, Hammer Films' English-language remake of Let the Right One In, on October 1st.

There's a new trailer out, and it's here:

www.youtube.com/watch

That's about all from me for now.  I'll write more soon.
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