Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Way I See It #265

A few days ago I was worshipping at the Cathedral of St. Arbucks when I noticed the following quotation on the side of my Cinnamon Dolce Latte:

Wild animals often do a much better job of caring for their offspring than we civilized and educated humans do. If we cannot keep children safe in their homes, how can we hope to make ourselves safe in the world?

-- Lee Grogg, Executive director of Ryther Child Center, an agency providing safe places and opportunities for children.

I never bothered reading Starbucks' version of Successories on my coffee cup because it's usually hidden under the cardboard sleeve, but a for the last few weeks I've been having worse-than-normal insomnia and on this particular day I had been up for nearly 38 hours so things were… a little weird. I mean, colors were a little brighter and I was hearing things before they actually made a sound. I was one with the infinite void, man, and on this day my coffee cup was talking to me and telling me to read the wit and wisdom of Lee Grogg. And so I did, and when I read it I knew that it was something that must be laughed and mocked mercilessly, but alas I was not in the state of mind to do so at the time, but before I stepped back into the swirling purple cosmos that unites us all- seriously, dude- I saved the cup.

Now, I am sure that this Ryther Child Center does a lot of good work and helps a lot of children out, but are they crazy? For most animal species, 'caring for their offspring' consists of them laying eggs in a warm hole in the ground and taking off. Most birds and mammals do raise their young but very often they will eat their young, or they shun the runts and let them starve, or they will purposely kill off a twin because they can't produce enough food to feed more than one baby.

So please, people, for the sake of the children, let's start a campaign to buy a TV and cable TV for The Ryther Center so that they can watch Animal Planet and stop saying such goofy-ass things to the coffee-drinking world.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Goodbye Robert Jordan

I was 18 when 'The Wheel of Time' came into my life.

I was a freshman in college then, and I was hanging around the famous (or infamous, depending on how well you know him) Hyperion, and he bought me a copy of the first book of Robert Jordan's 'The Wheel of Time' series, 'The Eye of the World', and demanded that I read it. (And if you do know Hyperion, demanded is a nice way of saying it.) I seem to recall that he also bought me a stuffed moose as a bribe to read this book.

This is the copy that Hyperion gave to me 11 years ago. It's seen better days.

I dragged my feet on reading it for about a month or so. It was a fantasy novel, which I typically didn't read, and a serial fantasy novel, which only the hopelessly dorky and eternally un-laid liked. But it seemed important to him (and he was bugging me about it day and night) so one day when I was doing my laundry at school I sat on top of a washing machine to guard my clothes from being thrown on the floor and started to read.

It started off with a typical fantasy beginning: a gawky teenager named Rand al'Thor going about his life, unaware that he's probably going to be a hero later on. Other main characters are introduced. Rand and his father are sitting at home minding their business several pages later, and as the spin cycle kicked in I wondered why it was that Hyperion was forcing me to read this boring shit... then the Trollocs knocked on Rand's door, changing his life and mine as well.

From that point on, I've been a fan of the series. I finished the first book the next day and inhaled the rest of the novels in the following months. I stayed up all night before my Chem I final to finish the fourth book, which had an ending that was so incredible that I cried. In the past few years my initial enthusiasm for the series cooled a bit, but I'd be one of the first to pick up the newest book when it came out and I had recommended it often to friends and family.

I guess it was only fitting that Hyperion was the one who first told me that Robert Jordan had passed away Sunday. The greatest sadness here lies in the fact that he never completed the series, and that all the side projects and other stories he had planned on doing would never come to light. But Jordan left behind a wonderful legacy in the Sea Hag universe, and that is the knowledge that the gift of a good book is a rare and precious thing. Since Hyperion bought me my own copy of 'The Eye of the World' (which has been read so many times it's falling apart and has to be held together by rubber bands) I have, in turn, shared or bought copies for my stepfather, my wasband, several friends, co-workers, and many ex-boyfriends, who, in turn, have gone on to suggest it to others. Jordan left behind a body of work that is awe-inspiring not in just sheer volume and scope, but in the way that people love the characters and the story so much that they feel compelled to share it with others.

But most of all, these books helped me forge a deep friendship with Hyperion that has lasted nearly 14 years, and it's the one topic we can always come back to and discuss no matter how much time or how many miles have been between us. And I think that's a great thing to leave behind.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sandwich of the Gods

I happened to have a ripe tomato, slime-free lettuce, non-green bacon and unfuzzy bread on hand today so I made myself a BLT, and it was probably the best thing I've put in my mouth lately. So good, in fact, that I chose not only to blog about it, but to take a picture of it too.

Monday, September 03, 2007

More Dragon*Con goodness

This was the best costume I saw at Dragon*Con: Wonder Twin Jayna and her brother Zan, who had already transformed into a bucket of ice.

Don't blame him, he voted for the Brain Slug Party.

Very excellent 'Shaun Of The Dead' guys. It makes me wonder if they wanted to dress up like them because they already looked like them, or if they wanted to dress up like them at it was just luck that they looked like them anyway. Wait, did any of that make sense?

Cookie Monster and Franklin. Cookie Monster told me that he found his costume on eBay. I never got a chance to ask him why he was wearing a toga as well. But then, it might be better that I didn't know. Less therapy bills, you know?

Franklin and a dude whose badge name was The Gnome. He invited me to do a kilt check on him, which I somehow graciously managed to decline with the faint taste of barf in my mouth. Even more oddly, Jonathan had seen this guy before at IHOP.

Here's Jonathan being surrounded by more ladies. They just couldn't get enough of him.

Here's me being clever and rebellious. Take that, The Man!

I have no idea what this guy in the big yellow and red costume is supposed to be, but Jonathan knew and totally geeked out about him so I took a picture.

Lego dude! This was also a very excellent costume.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sea Hag does Dragon*Con

I went to Dragon*Con on Friday, which is a huge nerd-stravaganza that's held every year in Atlanta, so of course my happy ass is all over that like a rat on a Cheeto. This year was my eighth (I think) time going, and much to my delight Noochie said he'd go with me. Just for the record,The Nooch is in no way interested in anything remotely nerdy, geeky, dweeby or dorky so this was pretty awesome of him. He was like a pilgrim in an unholy land. An unholy land full of girls dressed like fairies, goth kids, Trekkie fans, and sweaty men in 5x t-shirts whose only exposure to the female breast has been of the two-dimensional anime variety. Noochie is the bravest guy I know.

So we got there about 11 a.m. and to my surprise there were about nine million fellow nerds in line to get their credentials. I mean, most nerds don't get up until way after the crack of noon so I was pretty amazed that so many had showed up so early.

NERDS! I totally dug the dude with the Jayne costume on the right... and if you don't know who Jayne is, shame on you.

This is a little baby nerd dressed like Jango Fett we saw while we were waiting in line. Awwww!

Of course, it didn't surprise me that it took a little under two hours to get through the line, because Dragon*Con is a bit... well, I wouldn't say badly run, but it definitely has a bit of a chaotic element to it. I think this is because it's such a huge convention and that it relies almost completely on volunteers to do just about everything. Most of the reason it took us so long was because you had to fill out this form with your name and address and all that on it, then you paid one person, then you stood in a second line so that someone could put all your information in a computer, then you stood in a third line to get your badge printed up. Um... if anyone from Dragon*Con wants a suggestion, why don't you guys type that information into your computers after the con is over? I'll volunteer myself to do it. Anyway, it was all good, because it was totally worth it to hear the girl yell out "Sea Hag!" when my badge was printed.

Anyway, we went exploring after that, and we went to the Walk of Fame, which is where the celebrities hang out, and I met Gil Gerard of disco-fabulous Buck Rogers fame. He was a nice guy! I told him about watching Buck Rogers during my bout with boogers, and we talked about 'Amelie' for a bit too. Most celebrities that show up for cons are either very cool and have a good time meeting their fans, or they act like total asshats, which is a shame.

Franklin got to meet Gil Gerard too, and he thought he was a total class act.

After that, we went to one of the dealer's floors, where they sell all things great and nerdy. Noochie got some awesome movie posters. I walked by a table and saw stuff for the Owly comics. Now... I'm going to admit that last year I met Andy Runton, who draws Owly, and I had a total fangirl moment. I mean, was just a total tool and giggled and blushed and was in general a complete moron. Much to my relief, he wasn't there for me to embarrass myself again, but his nice girlfriend was, and she pointed out some of the super-cute stuff they had for sale, one of the items being the MOST AWESOME HAT EVER which looked like owl ears and had a little Wormy on the head too. If you go look at the comic you'll understand why this is so friggin' rad and why I had to buy one and wear it right then. Of course, after I bought it, Andy Runton came up and wanted a picture with me and my new hat, and I'm proud to say I didn't get all stupid on him again.

You can't look at this and not tell me that this isn't the best hat you've ever seen. I mean, it's so awesome that I put a picture of myself on my blog just so you could see it. I'm here with Andy Runton, the creator of Owly and a super-duper nice (and tall) guy. Go buy his stuff!

Shortly after the Awesome Hat Experience, Noochie had to go do some Noochie stuff, so I hung out with my friends John, Missy, and their friend Dean for a little bit then met my friend Jonathan for some beer in the bar at the Hyatt. Fun was had! Beer was drank! There were some Jägermeister girls there and we got all sorts of free stuff from them. There were also some Michael Collins girls there (apparently it's some kind of whiskey. Who the hell does shots of whiskey at a hotel bar?) and some Miller Lite girls too, who were...well, let's just say that out of all the Liquor Chicks, they were definitely the 'light beers' of the bunch.

Jonathan and the Jäger Girls. Jonathan had chicks all over him all night long, even with me sitting there inadvertently cock-blocking, because that's just how totally sexy he is. He's single, ladies!

After much beer, we wandered the con and saw crazy people and sat through a viewing of the 'musical' episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and I somehow wound up getting free parking in Atlanta, which is a miracle in and of itself.

Tomorrow: More con pics!