clevermanka: default (made-up 2)
And this is why I drive all the way to fucking Kansas City, Missouri to see Tim the PT guy.

I don't like to think of my avoidance of certain things as boycotting because I don't usually encourage others to do the same. That shit is personal and nobody needs to feel bad for shopping places when that's all that's available/affordable. But I do believe my dollar is my vote and if you want to know why I don't buy from Amazon and I why request that people don't buy me things from Amazon either, here's yet another reason why. Fuck you, Amazon.

Mad Max Meta about different ways to be a mother.

Patrick Stewart, out there destroying toxic masculinity one person at a time.

Ronda Rousey, god damn. Just. God. Damn.

On the physical self-care front, there is definite movement in the positive direction. My energy levels are much better. This past week I had energy to do stuff after work three out of five days (well, I hope three out of five--I'm thinking positive because there's an event I want to attend tonight). My physical stamina is improving, too. I walked from first to fourth floor on Wednesday and wasn't wiped out at the top! I got winded going up just one flight the very next day, but these things go in cycles and an occasional victory is better than no victories at all. Pain-wise, things are definitely better. I have only small aches in my left hip instead of lightning bolts of despair (the labrum injury) and my right back twinge is lessening thanks to Tim the PT guy deciding it's definitely a nerve injury issue and starting treatment for that. He thinks it's possible that when I pulled my back on the deadlift (god that seems so long ago), my sciatic nerve and a disc got pulled slightly out of their grooves along with the soft tissue injury and while the soft tissues healed, the nerve and disc are still rubbing each other the wrong way. All the mobility work I've done on it has actually been detrimental (ugh) which explains why I've been feeling worse on days after I do yoga. So we're working on getting them to play happily with themselves and sometime soon (perhaps as soon as September) we're staring prep work for returning to lifting heavy things.

You guys I got a bit choked up and teary thinking about being behind a barbell again. Seriously, I am almost crying at my desk here.

The people at the State Fair were kind enough to refund my tickets so I'm buying tickets to see Joan Jett at the Sprint Center in December. No travel, no hotel expense, no worrying about food, and [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick can go with us. Also, she's the opening act at that show, so unless my concert buddies want to stay for The Who (unlikely), we can skedaddle out of there early. It's win all around.

I hate that even such a small thing as a day trip to a city three hours away presents such an ordeal for me. I don't know that I'll ever be able to enjoy traveling just to travel. I need to have a reason for travel beyond just sightseeing and that reason needs to be pretty damn motivating. This is a little sad-making because I believe travel is wonderful and important for self-development, but god it's just such a trial for me (for various reasons).

With my energy levels (I hope) improving, though, I look forward to doing more things close to home. Workshops, shows, even more regular hang-outs with locals.

Tonight I'm going to Dances With Hippies (provided I am not absolutely dead on my feet come quitting time). It's been ages since I went to one of these things and I'm especially excited about this one. The Sunday morning one I used to attend has shifted music focus to stuff I'm not always wild about, but from what I was told, the DJ for this event leans more toward electronica so Fuck Yeah. Also, Westside Yoga is my favorite open movement space in town, with good ventilation and a high ceiling so the patchouli funk won't be overpowering. It's where they hold the occasional kirtans I attend, too. Such a nice place.

Final good thing for today: My hair looks FANTASTIC. Perhaps alas, I don't yet know how to get a photo off my phone (or even...take a photo with my phone?) and also my hair doesn't photograph well. You'll have to take my word for it.
clevermanka: default (gray boots)
Well I'm going to Con*Strict in July. That was unexpected. See? I can do spontaneous.



A zillion thanks to [livejournal.com profile] splix for her influence and assistance in helping me make my decision to go. I think this will be a good con for me. It's small, it's in Las Vegas, and two of the panel topics are The Women of Mad Max and Fuck You Joss Whedon (not really, but there's a decidedly anti-Joss-"feminism" slant to the panel title).

I wrapped up everything I need to do for the Campbell Conference this morning. We have a record number of preregistered attendees this year, so that's pretty cool. So close to being done with CSSF stuff, y'all. There are still a few things that could come up at this point (things I'd have to deal with), but not much.

Some people talked to me about Muse's latest album yesterday (not on LJ though) and I finally realized what it is about it. Drones is all of Muse's bad qualities, on one album, with very few of their good ones. Now that I can put my finger on what was putting me off about it, I feel better about writing this one off as a loss. I guess every artist is eventually going to put out something that disappoints. I've had several musicians disappoint me with their recent follow-up albums. IMO, One Direction's Four is mostly tedious except for one or two songs, Gaga's Artpop is basically unlistenable, Katy Perry's Prism has more misses than hits, Enrique's Sex+Love has way too much Pitbull for me to enjoy it, Maroon 5's V is just dull. It has not been a good time for me and new pop releases is what I'm saying. The one pop album that didn't disappoint was Taylor Swift's 1989. It's her first marketed-as-pop album and (notably) the first album of hers that I've liked all the way through.

So I'm thinking it's time to start looking outside of pop for a while again. My faves seem to be in a slump. Recently recommended to me were Finger Eleven, Elbow, and Dredg. Here's hoping I take a shine to one of them because I really need some new music that I like.
clevermanka: default (made-up 2)
I knew about this study on how to fall in love with someone because, as the saying on Tumblr goes, I think I've read that fic.

Breaking Muscle put up a fantastic article on What Happened to Movement for Health as well as an article on losing body fat that basically falls into line with what I've been saying for ages. Quit the constant-state cardio, watch your diet, and lift heavy. Of course, if your body is hormonally messed up, it's gonna be difficult if not impossible to lose body fat. If your hormones are a mess (like mine), adopt the attitude of Riots Not Diets, and concentrate on bringing your body to a state of health before focusing on those bumps and bulges that society tells you makes you a bad person.

I also found two articles, one on posture and one on gait that I think are very helpful for those of us trying to improve our body mechanics in order to live and perform more powerfully and efficiently.

Speaking of physical performance, I way overdid it at punching day Saturday. I alternated working on the bag, sparring with [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick, and doing body weight resistance training (push-ups, lunges, and step-ups) for almost *cough* ninety minutes. It was stupid, I know, but I was just having so much fun! About fifteen minutes after I showered, through, I hit that adrenal fatigue wall and I was out of commission for the rest of the day. It was a slog to get through just laundry and food prep. By 8:30pm I was barely functioning and even my brain was foggy and slow. I felt moderately better on Sunday, but was still low energy and vaguely depressed all day.

I did muster my motivation and will together enough to see the 4pm showing of Labyrinth that was playing at Liberty Hall yesterday. There were a ton of people there with their kids, which was pretty awesome. Of the group of four of us that went together, I was the only one who'd seen it in the movie theater during its first run. It was so nice to see David Bowie's crotch in those trousers on the big screen, as god intended. Christ almighty.



[livejournal.com profile] gamera_spinning found a reproduction of that painting for me. Now I just gotta save my pennies because hell yes I am buying it.
clevermanka: default (Reefer Madness)
Although I watched Pokemon when it was on the air in the mid-90s (laugh all you want, that show was great and had moments of pure, fucking brilliance which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for most product-driven kids programming), I was never in the fandom. Man oh man am I tempted to get this tee shirt, though. Bulbasaur was not my favorite, but who fucking cares. That shirt is a riot. They have shirts for all the different types, but Grass Specialized Trainer has to be one of the funniest if not the funniest (unintentional?) drug-reference innuendos I've seen on a tee shirt.

These are the best argument I have ever seen for mega-stretched earlobes. Fucking GORGEOUS.

I stayed home from work yesterday thanks to menstrual stuff. I woke up feeling actually mostly okay but just UGH exhausted and mentally unable to deal with work. By late morning the cramps had started and I was all "okay well then, excellent work on listening to your body." The only reason I'm at work today is it's Veteran's Day and if I work Veteran's Day I get twelve (12!) hours of holiday comp time to take whenever I want within the next year. I'll suffer at my desk for a day and a half of free vacation, yes.

Saturday I picked up my side of beef from Steve's Meat Market in DeSoto. For non-locals, let me first set the scene of DeSoto. It's a small-town dot on the map between Lawrence and Kansas City. Right off the highway that connects the two, and pretty much there's nothing notable about it except don't ever speed on that stretch of road because 1) small-town cops, and 2) that stretch of highway is bracketed by two big hills so it's speed trap perfection. Typical Midwestern small town. Or so you think.

I got to Steve's at 7:50am Saturday, which is ten minutes before they open. The parking lot was full and the signs were on, though, which...okay. I went in to pay and noticed there was a huge group of non-butcher-types hanging out in the back freezer/prep area. I asked (half-jokingly) if there was some sort of lesson going on. Turns out there's a local farmer who brings (live) livestock every Saturday morning for people who want to pick out their animals and take home freshly (and halal- or kosher-approved) butchered meats. NICE. Gets better, though. While I was waiting in my car for the guys to get my order together I saw a man walking through the parking lot carrying by one horn, a freshly-cut black goat head. The eyes were still slightly open, the tongue was hanging out, and there was a smooth slip of red flesh hanging from the neck. IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING. Five minutes later his female companion followed him to their truck with a bag of entrails.

Apparently the entire ethnic population of the Kansas City/Topeka area comes to DeSoto on Saturday morning to get their meat. The Steve's employee said people start lining up at 5:30am. How cool is that? One, there's a local business and a farmer interested in serving the immigrant community, two, there's enough of an immigrant community to support it, and three, it happens every week just twenty minutes east of me.

My other fantastic Saturday accidental experience: We were supposed to see Interstellar with a friend for his birthday, but it was sold out by the time we got there. Since we'd driven to KC for the movie, we decided to see something instead and picked Big Hero 6. You guys. YOU GUYS. This movie was so much better than the previews, which who the hell produced those boring previews? It's not just a movie about a kid who builds a robot. It's not actually about that at all. It's a superhero origin story with a diverse, multi-racial cast that boasts a bi-racial main character. Really, really good movie. It was released two days after the ten-year anniversary of The Incredibles and I can't think that was accidental. It is such a perfect successor to that film. See it. Ignore the cute but lackluster preview. See the movie. See it in the theater if you can, too, because the animation is gorgeous.

Then Sunday [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick and I went clothes-shopping to get things I can't find at the thrifts: leggings, jeans, thermals, etc. Y'all I am so excited about his winter wardrobe. I've finally sold him on the idea of wearing skirts (okay, kilts) most of the time, and he looks really good in them. But...winter. So I spent a lot of time searching the web for men's leggings and running tights and had no luck finding stuff we both agreed on and thought looked comfortable. And then I realized, why the hell am I looking for men's tights for him? So we picked up a few pairs of XL women's heavy jersey tights which I then took in about four inches at the waist and voila the guy has tights to wear under his kilts this winter.

AND THEN ALSO I got to help pick out clothes for one of our guy friends who has decided he wants to start dressing nicer. He's not on board with skirts (which is fine--not everyone is), but I explained to him the basics of pairing and layers (neutral colors, texture, overwash jeans are your friends) and he found a few things he liked enough to start with. He also gave me the green light to shop for him when I go to thrift stores. Whee! Good times.

Today's Tumblr collection is Tuesday, November 11: Sherlock Dolls. For those of you not in the know, Big Chief Studios released dolls based on the BBC Sherlock Holmes and John Watson earlier this year. You can imagine the shenanigans people got up to with those. Click at your peril.
clevermanka: default (Default)
It's been a week since I made a real post here, which I thought was a pretty important and relevant post, but only six people commented. I thought that was weird and, NGL, it was a little sad-making. So I haven't been terribly motivated to post something else, but then I realized THAT IS HOW JOURNALS DIE, so I'm making another effort. I'm not begging for comments on this post, btw. I'm just making an observation.

And now, a health update! Because I'm sure you're all just gasping for information about that shit. Click if you're interested )

Enough of that health shit, though.

Kansas City Planet Comic-Con was fun, but not...thrilling? And more than a little irritating at points. I did not expect multi-block lines to get in right at the beginning and that threw me. But, okay, we still got through the doors in plenty of time for me to attend the first panel on Saturday morning, even though the "security" and traffic routing was a fucking (and insulting) joke. For once I was happy to ignore the Mandated Way of Doing Things with [personal profile] mckitterick and simply walked past more than one security guard trying to herd us down an allowed hallway. I can understand rigorous policing of crowds for larger events, but honestly, once we were in the building there were hardly any lines. It was really poorly managed in that respect and that alone could keep me from attending it in the future.

But anyway, after we busted our butts to get to the Sherlock panel I wanted to attend, the panel turned out to be horrible and this one horrible person I'd encountered at a horrible panel at ConQuesT a few years ago was on it and OH MY GOD it was so horrible. Not only does this person have an incredibly grating personality (That type of nerd who revels in their weirdness because they are JUST WEIRDER THAN EVERYONE and that makes them SO WEIRD DOESN'T IT? You know the sort), but they're also a hater and anything of which they disapprove is just crap, your opinions and tastes be damned. But then the moderator broke in with a comment about Elementary and how he hadn't even seen an episode because honestly it just didn't look very interesting and I threw up my hands and walked out. Ten minutes into the panel, y'all. TEN MINUTES. I felt really bad for the other panelist because she seemed nice and fairly smart and not an asshole. Also, WTF, two panelists and a moderator to talk about the entire history of the Sherlock Holmes fandom? Like, possibly THE VERY FIRST FANDOM EVER? And the moderator didn't even realize he was the moderator until he sat down?



But once we freed ourselves from that debacle, we made our way to the Big Hall where Wil Wheaton was speaking. I was able to enjoy listening to him even though he's really pissed me off lately and I don't consider myself a fan of his anymore. We decided to just camp out in that room for a while since there was only an hour between the end of that panel and the other panel I really wanted to see--a Q&A with Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton. Which was exactly as awesome as I'd hoped. Oh man, Brent Spiner is a sarcastic asshole in all the best ways and let me say how much I would love to go out for drinks with him because DAMN, SON. I wish I'd had a question for him because most of the people who queued for questions were all talking to LeVar about Reading Rainbow stuff. Afterward, I thought it would have been great to ask him to sing a verse from his favorite song from 1776 but I didn't think of that until way too late. Oh well.

And I already related the amazing experience of hearing DMC rap live. From twenty feet away. And then shake his hand. I'm not feeling any less giddy about it, though. Just. HOLY SHIT. I would have liked to see his panel on Sunday morning, but there was no way I was going to be able to do that all again the next day. I need time to rev up for that sort of thing and I was simply not prepared for what I'd have to deal with at the local Comic-Con. Being psychologically prepared to deal with stuff like crowds and lines and frustration is a big deal for me. I can handle just about anything if I'm mentally prepared for it. And I was not mentally prepared for Kansas City Planet Comic-Con. My bad.

BUT NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT I'M GOING TO SDCC. For which I shall be prepared. Eeeeee! This is how/why it happened: My (most beloved) BFF Tess's publisher put her on a panel, so she had a hotel room. She asked me and [profile] otterdancing if we'd be interested in going because, you know, free hotel room and we (possibly unhinged) fangirls were all over that. It was, of course, still a question of would we be able to get tickets and I think we were both half-resolved to go even if we couldn't get in. But apparently the universe was smiling on us since [profile] otterdancing was early enough in the randomly-selected electronic queue (getting tickets for SDCC is absolutely nuts, you guys) that we managed to score badges for Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. We're going to miss some of the Giant Fandom Events that usually happen on Saturday, but I'm okay with that because I'm planning to stay the hell away from Hall H anyway. I am A-OK with experiencing the happenings of Hall H via Tumblr. I figure if I'm not trapped in a days-long line so I can be crammed into a giant room with 6,500 sweaty nerds, I am much more likely to, you know, accidentally run into Tom Hiddleston and discuss with him the logistics of banging each other in a supply closet.
clevermanka: default (Respirator)
It's been a week since I made a real post here, which I thought was a pretty important and relevant post, but only six people commented. I thought that was weird and, NGL, it was a little sad-making. So I haven't been terribly motivated to post something else, but then I realized THAT IS HOW JOURNALS DIE, so I'm making another effort. I'm not begging for comments on this post, btw. I'm just making an observation.

And now, a health update! Because I'm sure you're all just gasping for information about that shit. Click if you're interested )

Enough of that health shit, though.

Kansas City Planet Comic-Con was fun, but not...thrilling? And more than a little irritating at points. I did not expect multi-block lines to get in right at the beginning and that threw me. But, okay, we still got through the doors in plenty of time for me to attend the first panel on Saturday morning, even though the "security" and traffic routing was a fucking (and insulting) joke. For once I was happy to ignore the Mandated Way of Doing Things with [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick and simply walked past more than one security guard trying to herd us down an allowed hallway. I can understand rigorous policing of crowds for larger events, but honestly, once we were in the building there were hardly any lines. It was really poorly managed in that respect and that alone could keep me from attending it in the future.

But anyway, after we busted our butts to get to the Sherlock panel I wanted to attend, the panel turned out to be horrible and this one horrible person I'd encountered at a horrible panel at ConQuesT a few years ago was on it and OH MY GOD it was so horrible. Not only does this person have an incredibly grating personality (That type of nerd who revels in their weirdness because they are JUST WEIRDER THAN EVERYONE and that makes them SO WEIRD DOESN'T IT? You know the sort), but they're also a hater and anything of which they disapprove is just crap, your opinions and tastes be damned. But then the moderator broke in with a comment about Elementary and how he hadn't even seen an episode because honestly it just didn't look very interesting and I threw up my hands and walked out. Ten minutes into the panel, y'all. TEN MINUTES. I felt really bad for the other panelist because she seemed nice and fairly smart and not an asshole. Also, WTF, two panelists and a moderator to talk about the entire history of the Sherlock Holmes fandom? Like, possibly THE VERY FIRST FANDOM EVER? And the moderator didn't even realize he was the moderator until he sat down?



But once we freed ourselves from that debacle, we made our way to the Big Hall where Wil Wheaton was speaking. I was able to enjoy listening to him even though he's really pissed me off lately and I don't consider myself a fan of his anymore. We decided to just camp out in that room for a while since there was only an hour between the end of that panel and the other panel I really wanted to see--a Q&A with Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton. Which was exactly as awesome as I'd hoped. Oh man, Brent Spiner is a sarcastic asshole in all the best ways and let me say how much I would love to go out for drinks with him because DAMN, SON. I wish I'd had a question for him because most of the people who queued for questions were all talking to LeVar about Reading Rainbow stuff. Afterward, I thought it would have been great to ask him to sing a verse from his favorite song from 1776 but I didn't think of that until way too late. Oh well.

And I already related the amazing experience of hearing DMC rap live. From twenty feet away. And then shake his hand. I'm not feeling any less giddy about it, though. Just. HOLY SHIT. I would have liked to see his panel on Sunday morning, but there was no way I was going to be able to do that all again the next day. I need time to rev up for that sort of thing and I was simply not prepared for what I'd have to deal with at the local Comic-Con. Being psychologically prepared to deal with stuff like crowds and lines and frustration is a big deal for me. I can handle just about anything if I'm mentally prepared for it. And I was not mentally prepared for Kansas City Planet Comic-Con. My bad.

BUT NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT I'M GOING TO SDCC. For which I shall be prepared. Eeeeee! This is how/why it happened: My (most beloved) BFF Tess's publisher put her on a panel, so she had a hotel room. She asked me and [livejournal.com profile] otterdancing if we'd be interested in going because, you know, free hotel room and we (possibly unhinged) fangirls were all over that. It was, of course, still a question of would we be able to get tickets and I think we were both half-resolved to go even if we couldn't get in. But apparently the universe was smiling on us since [livejournal.com profile] otterdancing was early enough in the randomly-selected electronic queue (getting tickets for SDCC is absolutely nuts, you guys) that we managed to score badges for Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. We're going to miss some of the Giant Fandom Events that usually happen on Saturday, but I'm okay with that because I'm planning to stay the hell away from Hall H anyway. I am A-OK with experiencing the happenings of Hall H via Tumblr. I figure if I'm not trapped in a days-long line so I can be crammed into a giant room with 6,500 sweaty nerds, I am much more likely to, you know, accidentally run into Tom Hiddleston and discuss with him the logistics of banging each other in a supply closet.

So. What's new with you?
clevermanka: default (toothy grin)










Okay, so you guys, the friend who queued for me to get our badges forgot I don't have a data plan so I waited ALL DAY and she never called to let me know what was up with the tix. Of course she didn't call, because she'd emailed me. So at a bit after 4pm, while I was waiting for the costume contest to start, I texted her with "No luck?" and then (after having to ask her like THREE TIMES) she said we got them and I stood up and pumped my fist in the air and yelled. The guys sitting next to me ([livejournal.com profile] mckitterick was in the bathroom) looked at me like I was some WEIRDO and I said "Guess who got badges for San Diego Comic Con?!?!?!?!" and people APPLAUDED.


Also? Between the panels we went to, we were walking around the dealer's area and I heard music but was tuning it out and then I thought "I...recognize that voice but not the tune?" And then I realized it was fucking DARRYL McDANIELS and I plowed my way through all the people just standing between me and the stage (we're talking, like two and a half aisles over, it was a serious barrage), and DMC was doing a spontaneous performance in the dealer's room and I GOT TO SEE HIM RAP. LIVE. And then there was nobody at the side of the stage when he walked off it (I think because, you know, BLACK MAN), and I pushed my way over to him and said "Hey, can I just shake your hand?" And he said "Yeah!" and then damn near crushed my hand because I think he was still a little stoked from his performance and y'all this has been SUCH A GOOD DAY.

Empty Bar

Feb. 24th, 2014 11:15 am
clevermanka: default (ass2)
Human brain now registers smiley face emoticon as real facial expression. OH MAN I FUCKING LOVE THE INTERNET.

If you haven't read the essay from the Duke University Porn Star, I encourage you to do so.

"I, like all other sex workers, want to be treated with dignity and respect. I want equal representation under the law and within societal institutions. I want people to acknowledge our humanity. I want people to listen to our unique narratives and dialogues.

To the anti-pornography feminists out there: I very much respect your opinion. Nevertheless, I want you to consider how you marginalize a group of women by condemning their actions. Consider that when you demean women for participating in sex work, you are demeaning THEM, and consequently, YOU become the problem.

Please do not continue to make the mistake you have made in the past of ignoring the voices of minority communities. Listen. Listen to the women who have for so long been silenced. Listen to their thoughts and their needs. Only then can we achieve solidarity and true progress within our movement."


Along a similar vein is this video starring Carmen Carrera, a transwoman and model. NSFW, but amazing.



Carmen's personal essay about the experience and her motivations for doing the video is here.

I want to leave something behind so people can look back one day and say, "Wow, remember when transpeople were discriminated against the most? This person was like, ‘Screw everybody! I’m going to parade around half-naked and be superproud, because that’s how everyone should be!’"

This weekend I spent money I didn't have on a neutral matte makeup palette from Stila. I need a neutral palette for travel because I'm tired of carting around a bag full of single pot colors and I wanted a matte collection because Reasons. It would've been nice to shop around a bit more before purchasing, but no time (or gas money) to hit Sephora in Kansas City. So picked this up from the local Beauty Brands (also, BB has a faboo return policy and they're local, so no driving to KC for a return). I was able to combine a $3.50 off coupon with my 10% off voucher that I've been holding onto for ... a year? and saved nearly $8 so my total came in just under $35. This is my second day wearing the colors from it and I'm *this close* to chucking all my old single-pot eyeshadows and replacing them with the other Stila palettes. THIS COLOR IS AMAZING. It doesn't look so much like pigment resting on my skin as it looks like my skin is actually stained/pigmented. And it lasted all day yesterday, through kitchen chores and laundry and even an occasion when I rubbed by eye because I forgot I was wearing eyeshadow. Very happy I took a chance on these.

My session with Andrew wasn't quite as thrilling, but it was good and informative. Last week wasn't a good week for me, physically. I felt worn down and fatigued, I had some swelling issues, and I started spotting on Wednesday. On Saturday I started bleeding for real (five days early) and the cramps were pretty bad. But I went to my training session on Sunday and just warned Andrew that I wasn't feeling at peak fitness. After the session he said it was interesting to watch me perform all the lifts with perfect mechanics and form, but at twenty to twenty-five percent less strength than previously. On the push press and bench press I struggled with just the empty 45lb. bar. We talked a little bit about how people can psych themselves out of lifting a weight because they think it's too heavy for them and he said he could tell that wasn't the problem (and he's seen me psych myself out of lifting a weight). He could see me reaching for it, could see my arms shaking with the effort, but the weight just wouldn't go up. So now I have something close to actual proof that my occasional weakness and fatigue isn't psychological. My body is actually chemically, physically weaker when I'm having A Spell. FASCINATING.

And then I spent pretty much the rest of the day alternating Couch Time with Folding Laundry. So grateful [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick was home most of the day so he could carry the laundry baskets up the stairs for me.

Update: Well shit. Harold Ramis died.

clevermanka: default (Respirator)
Today's Tumblr collection is Tuesday, February 18: Tattoos.

I'll be trying this exercise to loosen up hamstrings and quads at the same time. I need to get some more and better yoga blocks, though, 'cos the ones I have kind of suck.

Hey, if you have a Capitol One credit card, you might think about canceling it. Unless you especially like unannounced visitors to your house.

This looks pretty fucking amazing.


I've decided I have very little to say about about Coriolanus beyond HOMFG SEE IT IF YOU CAN. Tom Hiddleston is, of course, amazing, but the woman who plays his mother Volumnia (Deborah Findlay), is good past language. Just HOLY SHIT INCREDIBLE. I'll be honest, I was occasionally distracted by Hiddleston's hotness and occasionally caught myself thinking "wait, what?" Especially when he did things like stand straddling two chairs. Or walk around in a translucent robe. Or sit with his legs spread and crotch pointed at the camera. Or appear covered in blood and wearing jeans that were designed by divine inspiration. There were only two weak spots: Coriolanus's son and wife. The son--well, kid actors are always hit and miss, especially in theater. The wife, though. I mean, the part of Virgilia doesn't give an actor much to work with. She mostly sits (or stands) around and cries. She has some pretty good lines at the very beginning and the actress makes the most of them. I don't understand why they didn't cast someone who could cry on cue, though. She makes a fine ugly-cry face, but tears would've been really helpful. Also, how in the world they managed to cast someone who had no chemistry with Tom Hiddleston is beyond me. She had some fierce competition because the chemistry between Coriolanus and his mother is amazing (seriously, I completely believe that this man is 99% the result of his being raised by this woman). But come on.

So yeah, those were my only quibbles. I loved the costuming (I'm going to do my damnedest to make his first-act costume, including the armor--wish me luck), I loved the sets, I loved the direction. I loved it. A lot.
clevermanka: default (Default)
Today's Tumblr collection is Tuesday, February 18: Tattoos.

I'll be trying this exercise to loosen up hamstrings and quads at the same time. I need to get some more and better yoga blocks, though, 'cos the ones I have kind of suck.

Hey, if you have a Capitol One credit card, you might think about canceling it. Unless you especially like unannounced visitors to your house.

This looks pretty fucking amazing.


I've decided I have very little to say about about Coriolanus beyond HOMFG SEE IT IF YOU CAN. Tom Hiddleston is, of course, amazing, but the woman who plays his mother Volumnia (Deborah Findlay), is good past language. Just HOLY SHIT INCREDIBLE. I'll be honest, I was occasionally distracted by Hiddleston's hotness and occasionally caught myself thinking "wait, what?" Especially when he did things like stand straddling two chairs. Or walk around in a translucent robe. Or sit with his legs spread and crotch pointed at the camera. Or appear covered in blood and wearing jeans that were designed by divine inspiration. There were only two weak spots: Coriolanus's son and wife. The son--well, kid actors are always hit and miss, especially in theater. The wife, though. I mean, the part of Virgilia doesn't give an actor much to work with. She mostly sits (or stands) around and cries. She has some pretty good lines at the very beginning and the actress makes the most of them. I don't understand why they didn't cast someone who could cry on cue, though. She makes a fine ugly-cry face, but tears would've been really helpful. Also, how in the world they managed to cast someone who had no chemistry with Tom Hiddleston is beyond me. She had some fierce competition because the chemistry between Coriolanus and his mother is amazing (seriously, I completely believe that this man is 99% the result of his being raised by this woman). But come on.

So yeah, those were my only quibbles. I loved the costuming (I'm going to do my damnedest to make his first-act costume, including the armor--wish me luck), I loved the sets, I loved the direction. I loved it. A lot.
clevermanka: default (bonecruncher)
We were lucky to catch the last repeat showing of the National Theatre's Frankenstein at the Tivoli in Kansas City on Saturday. [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick was generous enough with his time and money to buy us tickets to both shows so I could see the version with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Johnny Lee Miller as Frankenstein and vice versa. I'd heard tons about it and seen a bajillion gifs of it on Tumblr, so I thought I had an idea of what to expect. I didn't. At all.

Somehow I missed the fact that the production is from the Creature's point of view. Which was fantastic, since Dr. Frankenstein is (canonically) pretty much an arrogant douchebag. I just didn't realize that the play would open with the Creature's (confused/confusing) birth and (even more confused/confusing) first experiences with society. When a highly idealized steam train came bellowing onto the stage, with actors portraying passengers, crew, and the train itself I was all "Um. What? Is this whole thing going to be some surreal, largely-metaphorical concept piece? OH DEAR." But it wasn't. It was just a way of conveying the creature's non-understanding of the world and once I realized that, it was brilliant. This was my first confirmation that I had made the right decision in getting tickets to both shows. I got a lot more out of the opening scenes the second time around.

I'm not going to try to describe the spectacle that is the National Theatre stage. It's just...really, really impressive, okay? The sparse sets highlighted the remarkable abilities of the space to transform itself via rotating platforms, hydraulics, hidden doors, and cables. Even if the acting had been crap, the set design would have warranted glowing comments.

Of course, the acting was far from crap.

I'm gonna say it up front: Cumberbatch is a better actor than Miller and there's just not much that any amount of script or direction is going to do about that. But in this case, Cumberbatch's charisma worked against him in his portrayal of Frankenstein. He was brilliant as the Creature, but his Frankenstein was too sympathetic. I'm on board with portraying Frankenstein as a to-be-pitied genius that ultimately deserves his fate, but Cumberbatch's Frankenstein--well, honestly, by the end I just wanted to give him a hug. And I don't think that's entirely due to the fact that the man looked real good in his frock coat and riding boot combo. REAL GOOD.

Of course, as the Creature, he also looked real good in the...well, the pretty much nothing that he wears for the opening birth scene. I'd heard about the fifteen minute writhing-around-learning-to-walk sequence that he does basically naked, but hearing about it and watching it are Very Different Things. I'm not ashamed to admit that my first thought on seeing him sprawled out on the floor of the stage was "My god he has a perfect body." And I don't just mean he's fit. Which he is. Quite. I mean he is absolutely perfectly proportioned. His build epitomizes Da Vinci's golden ratio for the male form. I could go on about this for quite a while, but I'll just sum up with JESUS CHRIST THAT MAN'S BODY. Okay, moving on.

Cumberbatch is a excellent actor and that extends to physical acting. During the birth scene I felt like I was watching a real person learn how to see, how to manage limbs, how to walk. The way he floundered and made his muscles spasm was terrifying and heartbreaking. Miller's Creature seemed a bit too baby-like in his development (and he admits that he based a lot of his Creature on his own toddler). Watching Cumberbatch was like watching an adult re-learn how to move. Very different approaches, and for this character, Cumberbatch had the better one. I also liked his Creature's vocal delivery better than Miller's. But this could just be the fact that, well, you know. THAT VOICE.

I don't want to sound like Johnny Lee Miller was a slouch in the acting department, though. Like I said, his Frankenstein was more appropriate to what I feel is the theme of the story. I mean, you don't hate the guy, but you feel bad for his family and fiancee for putting up with him, and you're probably glad not to be his friend or relative. Miller managed to walk a perfect line between unappealing and reprehensible while not completely distancing himself emotionally from the audience.

My feelings about which was more successful at the dual roles have one exception for each. Both dealt with sex and sexual violation.

The one instance where I thought Cumberbatch's Frankenstein was better was when he presented the Creature with the mate. Now, I'm pretty sure that Cumberbatch could have on-screen charisma with a bucket of paint, but his one-sided advances on the Creature's mate were disturbingly electric. Watching him touch and (oh god) breathe on her, I better understood Frankenstein's decision to destroy her. If he, as a scientist and her creator (as well as a man with a previously-exhibited lack of libido), felt so drawn to her perfection, imagine the pull she would have not only on the Creature, but potentially on all men. By convincing me of his attraction, he managed to make her destruction less a matter of spite toward the Creature and more an act of desperation, defense, and fear.

On the other side of the coin, Miller's Creature's rape of Elizabeth was more believable and repulsive. Whereas Cumberbatch's rape portrayal was brutal and efficient, Miller's Creature seemed to be enjoying himself. It lasted longer, he was much more vocal, and it was altogether more disturbing. During the Cumberbatch rape scene I had a moment of "okay, yeah, that happened off-screen in the book and wow this is uncomfortable" but I had difficulty watching Miller's interpretation for the duration of it. The lengthy timing enabled Cumberbatch's Frankenstein to witness a lot more of the rape, and highlighted his inability to respond to the crime, which added to the horror of the situation.

All things considered, I preferred the version with Cumberbatch as the Creature. That was the version that aired first, and despite my initial confusion at what was going on, I'm glad we saw them in that order. It made for a more honest experience of what I feel the production was trying to achieve. I am quite glad, though, that I got to see both, and see them both pretty much back-to-back. If you have the chance, I recommend you do the same.
clevermanka: default (Default)
We were lucky to catch the last repeat showing of the National Theatre's Frankenstein at the Tivoli in Kansas City on Saturday. [personal profile] mckitterick was generous enough with his time and money to buy us tickets to both shows so I could see the version with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Johnny Lee Miller as Frankenstein and vice versa. I'd heard tons about it and seen a bajillion gifs of it on Tumblr, so I thought I had an idea of what to expect. I didn't. At all.

Somehow I missed the fact that the production is from the Creature's point of view. Which was fantastic, since Dr. Frankenstein is (canonically) pretty much an arrogant douchebag. I just didn't realize that the play would open with the Creature's (confused/confusing) birth and (even more confused/confusing) first experiences with society. When a highly idealized steam train came bellowing onto the stage, with actors portraying passengers, crew, and the train itself I was all "Um. What? Is this whole thing going to be some surreal, largely-metaphorical concept piece? OH DEAR." But it wasn't. It was just a way of conveying the creature's non-understanding of the world and once I realized that, it was brilliant. This was my first confirmation that I had made the right decision in getting tickets to both shows. I got a lot more out of the opening scenes the second time around.

I'm not going to try to describe the spectacle that is the National Theatre stage. It's just...really, really impressive, okay? The sparse sets highlighted the remarkable abilities of the space to transform itself via rotating platforms, hydraulics, hidden doors, and cables. Even if the acting had been crap, the set design would have warranted glowing comments.

Of course, the acting was far from crap.

I'm gonna say it up front: Cumberbatch is a better actor than Miller and there's just not much that any amount of script or direction is going to do about that. But in this case, Cumberbatch's charisma worked against him in his portrayal of Frankenstein. He was brilliant as the Creature, but his Frankenstein was too sympathetic. I'm on board with portraying Frankenstein as a to-be-pitied genius that ultimately deserves his fate, but Cumberbatch's Frankenstein--well, honestly, by the end I just wanted to give him a hug. And I don't think that's entirely due to the fact that the man looked real good in his frock coat and riding boot combo. REAL GOOD.

Of course, as the Creature, he also looked real good in the...well, the pretty much nothing that he wears for the opening birth scene. I'd heard about the fifteen minute writhing-around-learning-to-walk sequence that he does basically naked, but hearing about it and watching it are Very Different Things. I'm not ashamed to admit that my first thought on seeing him sprawled out on the floor of the stage was "My god he has a perfect body." And I don't just mean he's fit. Which he is. Quite. I mean he is absolutely perfectly proportioned. His build epitomizes Da Vinci's golden ratio for the male form. I could go on about this for quite a while, but I'll just sum up with JESUS CHRIST THAT MAN'S BODY. Okay, moving on.

Cumberbatch is a excellent actor and that extends to physical acting. During the birth scene I felt like I was watching a real person learn how to see, how to manage limbs, how to walk. The way he floundered and made his muscles spasm was terrifying and heartbreaking. Miller's Creature seemed a bit too baby-like in his development (and he admits that he based a lot of his Creature on his own toddler). Watching Cumberbatch was like watching an adult re-learn how to move. Very different approaches, and for this character, Cumberbatch had the better one. I also liked his Creature's vocal delivery better than Miller's. But this could just be the fact that, well, you know. THAT VOICE.

I don't want to sound like Johnny Lee Miller was a slouch in the acting department, though. Like I said, his Frankenstein was more appropriate to what I feel is the theme of the story. I mean, you don't hate the guy, but you feel bad for his family and fiancee for putting up with him, and you're probably glad not to be his friend or relative. Miller managed to walk a perfect line between unappealing and reprehensible while not completely distancing himself emotionally from the audience.

My feelings about which was more successful at the dual roles have one exception for each. Both dealt with sex and sexual violation.

The one instance where I thought Cumberbatch's Frankenstein was better was when he presented the Creature with the mate. Now, I'm pretty sure that Cumberbatch could have on-screen charisma with a bucket of paint, but his one-sided advances on the Creature's mate were disturbingly electric. Watching him touch and (oh god) breathe on her, I better understood Frankenstein's decision to destroy her. If he, as a scientist and her creator (as well as a man with a previously-exhibited lack of libido), felt so drawn to her perfection, imagine the pull she would have not only on the Creature, but potentially on all men. By convincing me of his attraction, he managed to make her destruction less a matter of spite toward the Creature and more an act of desperation, defense, and fear.

On the other side of the coin, Miller's Creature's rape of Elizabeth was more believable and repulsive. Whereas Cumberbatch's rape portrayal was brutal and efficient, Miller's Creature seemed to be enjoying himself. It lasted longer, he was much more vocal, and it was altogether more disturbing. During the Cumberbatch rape scene I had a moment of "okay, yeah, that happened off-screen in the book and wow this is uncomfortable" but I had difficulty watching Miller's interpretation for the duration of it. The lengthy timing enabled Cumberbatch's Frankenstein to witness a lot more of the rape, and highlighted his inability to respond to the crime, which added to the horror of the situation.

All things considered, I preferred the version with Cumberbatch as the Creature. That was the version that aired first, and despite my initial confusion at what was going on, I'm glad we saw them in that order. It made for a more honest experience of what I feel the production was trying to achieve. I am quite glad, though, that I got to see both, and see them both pretty much back-to-back. If you have the chance, I recommend you do the same.
clevermanka: default (circus)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sherwood21, here is a pretty awesome-looking Sew Your Own Leggings tutorial.

Check out this fucking awesome weather page, made by one of [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick's students.

I'm posting a small collection of Thor 2 posts on Tumblr tomorrow. Beware, spoilers.

Last night's P!nk show was great! I'm not completely on board with the new trend of singers not actually singing for large portions of their concert, but with all the gymnastic antics P!nk performs, I'm willing to give her a pass. How in the world they coordinate her flying around the arena on a wire harness and land (near-literally) on a dime astounds me. Never have I seen backup dancers and singers look to be having such a fantastic time. She must be an amazing person to tour with. I thought it was strange that she won't say "fuck" during her live shows, but she's okay with her and her dancers simulating (sometimes violent and borderline abusive) sex. Um. I'm not a parent, but I'd rather children hear an F-bomb dropped than watch dancers pretending to hump and then slap each other around. Overall, though, I was so happy to be given the opportunity to go to the show and am incredibly grateful to [livejournal.com profile] athenaartemis for the ticket.

clevermanka: default (Default)
Thanks to [profile] sherwood21, here is a pretty awesome-looking Sew Your Own Leggings tutorial.

Check out this fucking awesome weather page, made by one of [personal profile] mckitterick's students.

I'm posting a small collection of Thor 2 posts on Tumblr tomorrow. Beware, spoilers.

Last night's P!nk show was great! I'm not completely on board with the new trend of singers not actually singing for large portions of their concert, but with all the gymnastic antics P!nk performs, I'm willing to give her a pass. How in the world they coordinate her flying around the arena on a wire harness and land (near-literally) on a dime astounds me. Never have I seen backup dancers and singers look to be having such a fantastic time. She must be an amazing person to tour with. I thought it was strange that she won't say "fuck" during her live shows, but she's okay with her and her dancers simulating (sometimes violent and borderline abusive) sex. Um. I'm not a parent, but I'd rather children hear an F-bomb dropped than watch dancers pretending to hump and then slap each other around. Overall, though, I was so happy to be given the opportunity to go to the show and am incredibly grateful to [profile] athenaartemis for the ticket.

clevermanka: default (not my life)
This little girl's voice. WOW.



Locals! If you've got business attire that you'd rather not donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army, KU has a professional clothing drive for students who need interview clothes.

The trip to Indy was nice. I scored some nice thrift finds (four cashmere sweaters, a wool sweater, a heavy cotton zip-front cardigan, and two skirts), and enjoyed the beautiful autumn leaves. They've usually all disappeared by the time I visit in late October/early November, but Indianapolis had a late fall and there were gorgeous yellows, reds, and oranges everywhere. We spent a lot of time just driving around. Next year I might plan my visit a couple weeks early so I have a better chance of catching that again. Maybe I'll get to drive the Chevelle out there!

When I got back home, I spent some time chatting with the neighbor until her dog bit me. BIT ME. I have never been bitten by a dog before and I wasn't entirely sure that's what had happened until I went inside to look at the wound. I was just petting the damn thing and when I stopped, he lunged at me. I felt a poke through my jeans but thought maybe it was just a claw. I made an excuse to go inside ([livejournal.com profile] mckitterick was still outside chatting) and when I looked at my thigh there was a definite puncture mark and little even scrapes from his teeth on either side of the puncture. Not to mention a bruise from the pressure. It really hurt.

I'm uncertain how to broach this topic with the neighbors. I've never been in a situation remotely like this before. I washed the wound and put antibiotic ointment on it and it looks okay (and is much less tender now) but what the fuck.
clevermanka: default (Default)
This little girl's voice. WOW.



Locals! If you've got business attire that you'd rather not donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army, KU has a professional clothing drive for students who need interview clothes.

The trip to Indy was nice. I scored some nice thrift finds (four cashmere sweaters, a wool sweater, a heavy cotton zip-front cardigan, and two skirts), and enjoyed the beautiful autumn leaves. They've usually all disappeared by the time I visit in late October/early November, but Indianapolis had a late fall and there were gorgeous yellows, reds, and oranges everywhere. We spent a lot of time just driving around. Next year I might plan my visit a couple weeks early so I have a better chance of catching that again. Maybe I'll get to drive the Chevelle out there!

When I got back home, I spent some time chatting with the neighbor until her dog bit me. BIT ME. I have never been bitten by a dog before and I wasn't entirely sure that's what had happened until I went inside to look at the wound. I was just petting the damn thing and when I stopped, he lunged at me. I felt a poke through my jeans but thought maybe it was just a claw. I made an excuse to go inside ([personal profile] mckitterick was still outside chatting) and when I looked at my thigh there was a definite puncture mark and little even scrapes from his teeth on either side of the puncture. Not to mention a bruise from the pressure. It really hurt.

I'm uncertain how to broach this topic with the neighbors. I've never been in a situation remotely like this before. I washed the wound and put antibiotic ointment on it and it looks okay (and is much less tender now) but what the fuck.
clevermanka: default (gas mask)
A possible new iron? I've been looking for a new iron that lacks an auto-off "feature" for quite a while. This one does have an auto-off, but it's half an hour instead of the usual eight to ten minutes for most irons, which is beyond annoying for sewing projects. It comes highly recommended by sewists and quilters, so that's nice, too.

This is a really good quote, and something I remind myself about whenever I start to feel hurt when someone says something about White People. Although that happens less and less. These days I'm more like yeah, man, white people.

Oh my god, this gifset of Stephen Colbert reading Anthony Weiner's sexts.

Last night [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick and I went to see Max Brooks at the KU Student Union. It was...fine. I had no idea what to expect, which I think didn't help. I wasn't sure if he was going to talk or read from his books or what. What he did was sort of a stand-up routine with a Q&A session at the end. I'm not a big fan of stand-up, so that didn't help my enjoyment, but it was...fine. I disagreed with some of the statements on which he based his jokes, and that didn't help. But it was...fine. The best part of the evening for me was being in the same room as Mel Brooks's son. As we were leaving, some friends we'd sat with mentioned that they didn't expect him to be such an asshole. "He was an asshole?" I asked. Turns out he's the exact same kind of asshole that I am, so I didn't notice.

clevermanka: default (Default)
A possible new iron? I've been looking for a new iron that lacks an auto-off "feature" for quite a while. This one does have an auto-off, but it's half an hour instead of the usual eight to ten minutes for most irons, which is beyond annoying for sewing projects. It comes highly recommended by sewists and quilters, so that's nice, too.

This is a really good quote, and something I remind myself about whenever I start to feel hurt when someone says something about White People. Although that happens less and less. These days I'm more like yeah, man, white people.

Oh my god, this gifset of Stephen Colbert reading Anthony Weiner's sexts.

Last night [personal profile] mckitterick and I went to see Max Brooks at the KU Student Union. It was...fine. I had no idea what to expect, which I think didn't help. I wasn't sure if he was going to talk or read from his books or what. What he did was sort of a stand-up routine with a Q&A session at the end. I'm not a big fan of stand-up, so that didn't help my enjoyment, but it was...fine. I disagreed with some of the statements on which he based his jokes, and that didn't help. But it was...fine. The best part of the evening for me was being in the same room as Mel Brooks's son. As we were leaving, some friends we'd sat with mentioned that they didn't expect him to be such an asshole. "He was an asshole?" I asked. Turns out he's the exact same kind of asshole that I am, so I didn't notice.

clevermanka: default (Default)
I waited too long to post my write-up of Crypticon and I'm afraid I've forgotten things. I'll do my best to cover the highlights. I figure nobody wants to read about the lowlights because the lowlights weren't funny--just sort of dull and tedious.

Our table was adjacent to Bai Ling's autograph booth. The first thing I saw when I came down from dropping my luggage in our hotel room was Bai Ling at our table, getting change for a $20 from [personal profile] orrin. "Was that..." I asked. "Yep," said Orrin. So that was an interesting start.



Our table was also right across the aisle from Richard Kiel who is, as far as I can tell, an incredibly sweet man. I spent Saturday shuffling around the vendor area as Dead Girl, being creepy and (hurray!) actually making a few people uncomfortable--quite a feat in this crowd, TBH. When I got tired of walking around the ballroom, I would plant myself on the floor in front of the table, hunch over, and stare up at people through my hair. I'd move as little as possible, tracking mostly with my eyes and tiny head movements. Several people thought I was a mannequin until they met my eyes. I never, ever smiled or broke character. At one point, Mr. Kiel called across the aisle "You're a good actor!" DAY. MADE.



Another good experience with Dead Girl was when one of the other Wandering Monsters tried to startle me. He snuck up on me and made a loud hissing screech noise in my ear. I didn't react at all--not even a tiny jump. I just turned around slowly (I did everything slowly as Dead Girl), and by the time I'd fully turned around he was already back against the wall where he'd originally been standing. I shuffled over to him, raised my head just enough to meet his eyes...and handed him one of our table flyers. Then I walked away. Win.



The only time I broke character as Dead Girl was when Predator came over to our table and I got to take those kissy-kiss photos with him. I was bouncy and giddy for probably fifteen minutes afterward. I HAVE A HARD-ON FOR PREDATOR, OK? To make that interaction even better, we had a follow-up photo that night after I was out of costume and makeup. [profile] sdemory, [personal profile] orrin and I were hanging out waiting for the room party to start (which it didn't ever, really, did but never mind that) and Predator walked past on his way to leave. I just happened to be wearing my Alien/Predator Yin/Yang tee shirt and I waived him over to show. He was super excited about that and had his photographer assistant take a picture of us. I've been promised a copy, but haven't received it yet. I have faith that my lover won't completely let me down, though. DON'T LET ME DOWN, PREDATOR LOVER OF MINE.



On Saturday, while I was taking a break from Dead Girl and just hanging at the table with [personal profile] orrin, some guy who claimed to be one of the event organizers came up and asked me what movies I'd been in.



I am uncertain if he was serious or if this was some sort of weird pick-up line. In any case, he was pretty drunk.

Overall, people reacted much better to Dead Girl than Pit Girl. It was pointed out to me that perhaps people didn't see Pit Girl as a costume so much as just a funky way of dressing. Point. I hadn't considered that. Also, I was more just...myself...as Pit Girl and I know that my giant personality can be intimidating--this is something I've never understood or necessarily cultivated, but it's what I've been told and so there you go. Or I go. Whatever. In any case, if I do this next year I'm going to keep in mind that I should lean more toward the obvious in costume. Subtlety (intentional or not) doesn't fly at this con.

Finally, the most memorable experience from the weekend that had nothing to do with me or what I was wearing.

Okay, so this hotel was crap. Run down, in general disrepair, and generally just sort of depressing. I mean, it wasn't some shady no-name dive, but it wasn't exactly four-star digs. Let's just say I checked the bed really well for unwanted visitors. It was so bad that there was only one ice machine for all nine floors. Fortunately for me, it was on the floor just one down from me--so lugging the cooler down in the morning to refill it with ice wasn't a massive deal. Since it was only one floor down, obviously I took the stairs down nearest the ice machine. Those were the only stairs I knew about at the time. When I headed down to the ballroom for Saturday's responsibilities, I took the stairs because there was only one working elevator (yes) and fuck if I was going to wait for an elevator to go down. So I headed down the stairs at the end of the hall (there were stairs by the elevator but they were unmarked and the door that I tried was, at the time of my attempt, locked--no I am not kidding). As I progressed down from the seventh floor, the landings got more grim. By the time I reached the first floor I'd passed various construction materials, stained floors, cigarette butts, broken light bulbs, and finally, on the first floor landing, a dark, unidentifiable, textured brown surface covering the entire area. The door to get out of the landing was stiff and creaky and felt like it hadn't been used for a long time. Turned out it probably hadn't. Turned out I had taken the really wrong staircase to the first floor because when I exited the stairwell I found myself in an abandoned wing of the hotel. There were ancient, enormous water stains all over the carpet. The "art" that had hung in the sleeping rooms was stacked up against the walls or lying on the floor. Splintered wood and dirty cloths covered the stained carpet, and many of the doors to the rooms were hanging open--because the cleaners/renovators gave up halfway through the job or because the doors simply couldn't close due to architectural issues I didn't know. I picked my way past all of this--keep in mind this was the entire length of the hallway that housed all the sleeping rooms on first floor--and finally reached another door. Miracle of miracles, it wasn't locked and I let myself out of that horrible hallway into an area just off the main lobby.

My thoughts going through that consisted (in order) of "Now here is where the horror convention really is," "I could die down here and nobody would ever find my body," and "Please please please don't let this door be locked."

My one regret was not going back down that hallway, dressed as Dead Girl, for one of the best photo shoots ever.

And that was Crypticon KC 2013.

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