Monday, September 29, 2008

There May Be Giants

Here's some concert clips I found on YouTube, and the set list. Seriously, what an awesome show. West Virginia!


Unsupervised, I Hit My Head

Which Describes How You're Feeling All the Time


I'm super-psyched that they're gonna be doing a monthly concert series.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flansburgh and Linnell's Miracle Elixir

I'm cured, and I owe it all to Flansburgh and Linnell's Miracle Elixir! And rest assured, this is no ordinary tantimonious tonic, but a magical medicine of music and melody!

Because, really, I'm talking about They Might Be Giants and their concert last night at Le Poisson Rouge.

Yesterday I finally decided that I was done with being sick and tired, and if my wisdom teeth weren't gonna heal, eff it, I'd just return to my regular life and let them catch up. Because, seriously, a week and a half of only oatmeal and milkshakes gets to you.

So I bought some solid food and tried to eat it. I never realized that a Subway sandwich was so tall. Apparently I can't open my mouth as wide as I used to, but I was triumphant in my quest.

A minor, minor victory, and I wish that I could say it was the best sub I've ever had, or it was this delectable return to solid foods, but it was just all right.

Then, because I didn't want to spend another night cooped up indoors, I decided to see the TMBG concert.

And at first I regretted it. I felt a little woozy on painkillers, standing in place waiting for the show to start was hard, and I just really wanted to rest, but when John and John came on stage... seriously, I was cured.

It was like a blast of energy from the sun (which is not a mass of incandescent gas, actually, but a miasma of incandescent plasma) and boom, Kirk was back.

I bopped and enjoyed a good 90-minute set where they played at least one song from every one of their albums. And let me tell you, They Might Be Giants puts on a great show. I've seen them easily a dozen times since moving to New York, and I have to say this was one of my favorite concerts. Three or four encores! And they played "Cowtown" and "I Hit My Head," neither of which I'd heard live before.

This was probably my favorite Year of Yes moment so far.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Seventh Plague...

This morning I woke up to discover my upper body was covered in red bumps.

What the frack?! First wisdom teeth, then infection, now a rash? What next, frogs and locusts?

My first two thoughts were bedbugs (my biggest NYC-related fear, more than crime or terrorist attack, is getting bedbugs) or chicken pox (never had 'em, so when they come, it'll be terrible), but I didn't feel itchy or achey, so, seriously, what the frack?

When my doctor was finally able to see me, she figured it out in about a minute: allergic reaction to penicillin.

Which, truth be told, isn't so bad. A little confusing, because I only got the rash after I stopped taking antibiotics, but it's more of a harmless oddity when compared to the never-ending pain in my jaw.

She had some bad news, though: the rash was still in its early stages, and if it got worse and spread to my throat (ugh), I'd have difficulty breathing and should go to the emergency room ASAP to prevent death.

I guess when you've gotta heighten the ordeal, you go from pain to more pain to death, right? Thankfully, though, I've been OK... so far, and the rash has spread to my legs instead of my precious, precious insides.

But now I'm dreading falling asleep and waking up to the next plague.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Friend Elysia

(I'm sick of writing about my stupid wisdom teeth.)

Elysia is one of my oldest and best friends. We met in high school, performed together in the Florida Renaissance Festival, and when I graduated I was sort of an asshat and said something like, "Well, we probably won't keep in touch after this," something I later regretted and she points out just about every time we see each other.

She moved to LA, I moved to NYC, both of us doing our thing, and then a few years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sucks! At the age of 24. Double sucks!

(I feel it's OK to include this photograph because it's on her website.) But this is her on the night before her first surgery. Seriously, that's an amazing rack (and I'm sure Elysia wouldn't mind me saying that, since that's the kind of friendship we have). And she's an amazing person, too. Funny. Nice smell. A class act, all the way.

Also... she's in space!

Anyway, she recuperated, time passed, she made an amazing short video called Lose Weight With Cancer, she's worked tirelessly to help other people dealing with cancer, and now... she needs some help.

She's getting surgery on November 5th to cure her right arm of Lymphedema. I don't know a lot of the details (though it's all mentioned on her website), but it turns out her insurance won't cover this. This seems ridiculous and unfair to me, right? But while she fights the man and tries to prevent this from happening to other cancer survivors, she also needs help to get this surgery done.

The Elysia Skye Breast Cancer Organization

Elysia is asking (and I'm asking on her behalf) if people could donate $1 to help her out. I figure there's about a dozen readers on this blog each day, here's the link to donate, if we raise $25, that's pretty good. $1 is ridiculously low, it's ridiculously easy, and it does make a difference.

Year of Yes it, people! Please!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mending... I Think.

Yesterday I went to the dentist, and it seems I do have an infection. But, he explained, there wasn't anything he could really do about it, since I'm still on antibiotics and on painkillers. Hopefully they'll take care of it, and if not, then they'll try something else.

I'm not surprised by the unhelpfulness of this advice - he's the third dentist to look at me, so wasn't fully briefed. At first he thought I had been hit with a hockey puck, as a matter of fact.

I left with the understanding that I'd return for a follow-up appointment sometime soon, I think in the next two days (when my antibiotics run out).

Tried to go to work, but didn't last long. I started to get super nauseous, and had to leave. Very unfortunate, because I ended up having to cancel a job interview.

One piece of good news, though... they moved back our final day to "some time in October." Even though that's pretty darn vague, every little bit helps.

I spent most of yesterday in misery, stayed home from work today, and then woke up around noon feeling... better. Like my fever has broken. I still hurt, I'm still requiring painkillers every couple of hours, but I feel like my jaw has mended and my teeth are moving back into place.

The stitches finally came out of my mouth, it was weird having this little string in there. I wanted to rip it out, but wisely resisted that temptation.

I'm supposed to direct a rehearsal tonight and have a show later, but doubt I'll be able to do either.

I really hope this is my final post on the matter. Wisdom teeth suck.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Re: Ugh.

After reading that last entry, two people advised I call my dentist's emergency number, so I decided to listen to them. As Dave said, an infection by one's windpipe is a serious matter.

The doc didn't really know what to tell me - I'm already taking painkillers and antibiotics (forgot to mention the latter in previous entries, so it probably seemed like I was more likely to get an infection), and he advised I call the office in the morning and get in there some time tomorrow.

That's what I'll do, then. Also, tomorrow I have a job interview, so I'm banking on it being an absolutely terrific Monday for me.


I don't know if my wisdom teeth are getting better. In fact, I think they're getting worse.

My jaw feels like I just got punched really hard, and it only goes away when I've taken a painkiller. It looks normal, but it feels kind of lumpy, like I have swollen lymph nodes or something.

I'm afraid it's infected, but won't be able to do anything about it until tomorrow, when I can call the dentist. And if it IS infected, I hope they do something about it by Thursday, otherwise, I'm pretty screwed.

Opening my mouth hurts, so eating (still on oatmeal, pudding and juice) is difficult and painful. I can't take my pills until after I've eaten, so it's a catch-22.

I continue to hate everything.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Shortly after posting last night's entry, I started to feel super nauseous, don't know if it was because of the antibiotics or if the bloody gauze was finally getting the better of me.

I willed myself to not throw up (a special power I have - I can stop it by doing multiplication problems in my head), and then stumbled off to bed.

This morning I woke up with the grossest mouth I've ever had, but decided it was time to eat. I haven't eaten anything since about 2 p.m. yesterday, and that was just soup and orange juice.

And so now I have breakfast. It sucks. I have orange juice, which is pretty easy, and I have oatmeal, which is pretty hard. I don't want the food to touch my healing wounds and infect them or anything, so it's hard sliding it straight down my throat. And I can't tell if I'm still bleeding or not.

It also sucks because I don't really get to savor the taste of these delicious Quaker Oats, the oatmeal's gotta go straight for my empty chasm of a stomach.

But at least for dessert I get some painkillers... and maybe some pudding.

This is how I look and feel this morning, right down to what I'm wearing:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Got My Wisdom Teeth Removed and All I Got Was This Lousy Bloody Wisdom Tooth

The stories people told me about wisdom teeth have run the gamut from it being God-awful torture to being no biggie, so I had no idea what to expect. Also, my body is weirdly resilient to a lot of injury, but I also have a low pain threshold and a strong aversion to blood. Would I bounce back immediately, or would I scream and faint like a cartoon dowager?

With Jen Mac patiently waiting for me in the waiting room, I ventured forth to meet my destiny.

And you know what? It sucked.

I decided to splurge on the nitrous oxide, not just because of the obvious reasons, but because I was really interested in experiencing it. You know, scientific observation and all that. Most people tell me the gas makes them forget everything, then are ridiculously incoherent for X amount of time afterward. And I totally wanted to get in on that.

Now I'm not sure what's up with my body chemistry, but either the gas tanks weren't working properly or I'm immune, because I never felt any different. Throughout the entire procedure (about 75 minutes), I felt totally in my right mind. Not even mildly buzzed or anything. I even questioned them afterward, like, "Are you SURE those tanks were set up properly?"

As for the procedure itself, it wasn't so bad. The dentist decided to leave one in because it isn't hurting anybody and is dangerously close to a nerve. The two on top were easy-breezy-Cover Girl, they said it only took about two minutes to remove both of them.

That part is the only reason I think the gas might have worked - I remember them putting little clamps or something on my teeth, but I have no memory whatsoever of them removing my uppers.

The bulk of my time in the chair was spent on Mr. Lower Right, the problem child that was impacted and pretty much entirely horizontal. They worked on that asshole for about an hour, and had to smash him up and extract him, piece by piece.

And this is where it was dreadful. Not only was it boring, but it hurt! They say it was because of the proximity to the nerve, but man, you know what sucks? Feeling something drill into your jaw.

Worse than the pain was the feeling of blood spurting in my mouth. I was all numbed up, so thankfully I couldn't taste it, but I knew what it was, and that grossed me the eff out. Typing this now, with a mouthful of bloody gauze, I get nauseous. And the thought of me constantly swallowing a spit/blood combo for the next many hours is just as awful.

And then there was the boredom. I thought the dentist was pretty mean to the assistant, and people just walked in and asked questions. It was all very casual. Which I guess is good, it means this wasn't a tricky procedure, but at the same time, let the man work. There were times I wished I had my phone with me so I could text people about how shitty of a time I was having (what a horrible text to receive), or maybe play Mr. Do's Castle.

But I exited the surgery totally coherent, totally fine. They let me keep one of the uppers (the other one was too disgusting, they said), but both of 'em were in pretty sorry shape. Decayed and stuff, which I don't understand, since they were under the gum. This surprised the assistant, too (she's new). I wish I could post a picture, but I already accidentally ate the damn thing.

Turns out I didn't need Jen Mac to drag me home, I felt totally normal, just with a numb jaw. So home I went, bought a lot of soft foods (I hope my roommate likes pudding, because I accidentally bought twice as much as I planned), took a Vicodin, and continued calling places about apartments.

Sarah came over soon after, and although I couldn't eat (I refuse to eat until my mouth is no longer bloody), I got to at least smell the pizza she made. It was good.

Then, as the Novocaine died, my jaw felt worse and worse until I was just about ready to cry, because it's all so tedious. My jaw is tired, I'm sick of holding it open to fit around this damn gauze, it aches constantly, and there's always blood, always blood.

The Vicodin, like the nitrous oxide, had zero effect... at first. Later, after taking a stronger dosage (is that illegal?), my jaw started returning to normal and I finally felt well enough to write this entry.

And that's, I say for the last time, the tooth!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kirk Loses 4 Wisdom (Teeth)

September is a month chock full of ch-ch-ch-changes. There's losing my job (oh, yes, and they moved our final day up to September 25th), looking for an apartment with Sarah, buying Carcassonne, and let's not forget that oral surgery.

When last I blogged about it, it didn't seem likely that I'd be able to get these pesky wisdom teeth removed. I had that tentative appointment for October 1st, but it was mostly dependent on whether or not my benefits would extend past my last day of work. Tooth be told, I wasn't expecting it to happen.

But everything changed today when the dentist office called and said they could move my appointment up to tomorrow.


That's pretty soon, and not much time to plan/ready myself (surgery scares me), but you gotta do what you gotta do. So I'm getting it done tomorrow.

This wouldn't be possible without some wonderful people, like my understanding supervisor, who is letting me take two vacation days on such short notice, and Jen Mac, who's agreed to help haul my drugged-out, bloody-mouthed self home afterward.

So that's it. The next time I post I'll be minus four wisdom teeth. I'll try and blog while still under the influence of anesthesia, that could be interesting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Year of Yes: The Movie

They took my blog and made a movie!

Starring Jim Carrey.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

And That's the Tooth!

I was supposed to get my wisdom teeth taken out this morning, but due to a family emergency on the oral surgeon's part, it got canceled.

And that ain't good.

We're getting laid off around the end of the month, and that means an end to my insurance. There's no way I can afford this surgery without coverage, so I really wanted to get these bastards removed in September.

I just called the dentist office, asked if I could maybe get an earlier date with the other surgeon, and they said it can be done on October 1st... which is the alleged day of the layoffs.

So it'll be tricky, tricky, tricky, timing-wise... I hope I can pull it off.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dragon*Con: The Recap (Part III)

Something I forgot to mention about Dragon*Con: the art auction! Throughout the weekend, there was a big room of original art, and you could bid on the pieces through a silent auction.

I first went on Saturday, and immediately forgot my years of eBay training and just bid on some stuff - two paintings of Doctor Who as a hamster (the Fourth Doctor and Tenth Doctor) and four super-cheap drawings of Universal Studios monsters.

Then I realized, "Crap, bidding on these is binding, and I might not be able to fit all these in my suitcase." I returned to check and see if I was still the high bidder, but the Who hamsters went fast (damn it) and I eventually lost the monsters, too. So the art auction was all for naught.

But anyway, Sunday, bloody Sunday. Woke up, breakfasted with Kalika, and went to a panel on Doctor Who. At first, I was impressed by this kid dressed up as the 10th Doctor, but my respect for him waned as he quickly got bored and pulled out a Game Boy DS. Can't say I blame him, though, the panel spoke more about their opinion on the series rather than any interesting spoilers or insights.

My favorite part is when a girl dressed up as Neil Gaiman's Death (always a popular costume) asked something about the "Dialects." This confused everyone until they realized she meant "Daleks." This should give you an idea of the lameness of the panel, if this was my favorite moment.

Ainsley and I then headed to the Miss Klingon Universe Beauty Pageant. This, too, was a bit disappointing. I had high expectations for the talent competition (who wouldn't?), but it was plagued with microphone problems. One Klingon sang "Baby Got Back" with different lyrics. Two did comedic sketches. And one gave the Klingon marriage speech and dedicated it to Michael Dorn (Worf), who was one of the judges. That was pretty awesome, and then Michael Dorn went onstage and gave her a huge, dramatic stage kiss. But she still didn't win.

I spent another several hours with Cakey, and then got dressed for the Harry Potter Yule Ball. I wore my priest outfit again (since I didn't think the gnome attire was appropriate for the nightlife), and even though Lynn and Kalika repeated warned me about this dance, I was super-psyched.

It was simultaneously the worst and best part of Dragon*Con. The worst, because it was mostly awkward, overweight teens who are obsessed with Harry Potter. And the best, because Lynn and I were dancing in the middle of them. Granted, we got there at about 11:30, when most of the party died down (imagine parents also dressed in Harry Potter gear, patiently waiting for their kids. Oh, man, it makes me cringe in the most delicious way ever), so we missed it at its peak, but one girl DID fall down while dancing. Oh, God, that's cruel and it still makes me laugh. She fell down right next to us!

Note: This was also the only place I drank alcohol during the entire convention.

I am totally going to the Yule Ball again next year.

Oh, but we did witness one thing of beauty. As we were leaving, these three little kids (maybe 8 years old at the most) ran by, screaming and throwing glitter. And I thought, "I don't know if I'll ever have as much fun in my life as those kids are having right now," because they were really having a blast.

The nice part is thinking how they had to gather the glitter, like scraping it up from the floor, until they had enough to fill up their tiny fists. Then they organized it, "OK, on the count of three, we're gonna run and throw the glitter!" And then doing it.

That might have been my favorite moment of Dragon*Con.

Within 15 minutes, we left headed for the Mad Scientist Ball. It was filled to capacity, we waited in line, but when we got in, the dance party was over and instead it was a concert by ArcAttack!, a "high-tech musical collaborative, utilizing robotic drums, singing Tesla coils, sewer pipe organs, and other homemade musical instruments." Tesla coils! Purple lightning! Video game music (most of which I sadly couldn't identify)!

And then after that, we finally found an amazing dance party that was playing all '80s music (my favorite kind of music), but by that point, I was too tired and sore to really move much. 18 hours of holding Cakey will do that to you, and I finally gave up and went to bed.

And that, my friends, was Dragon*Con! Amazingly, the only outfit I didn't wear was the gnome one. Who woulda thunk?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cakey's in Entertainment Weekly!

Whee! This is very exciting.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dread: The Recap

Playing Dread not once, but twice in one weekend was a pretty daunting (and amazing) task. I'd never run the game before, my Disney game wasn't that well-prepared, and most of the Ghosty Teens had no idea what an RPG even was, so I wasn't sure how things would turn out.

First, the Ghosty Teens. We had eight characters: a Leader, a Brain, a Beauty, a Bully, a Talking Beagle, an Idiot, and the Bully's Kid Sister. A good bunch, although I'd say eight is probably too many people for me to handle.

Even though they were unfamiliar with RPGs, most of the group was made up of experienced improvisers, and everyone took to it very quickly. The game, in fact, was pretty darn funny.

I love the use of questionnaires in Dread, it's a lot like an opening in an improv show where you get details that you can later use. For example, I asked the Brain, "You're related to a famous celebrity. Who is it, and why don't the two of you get along?" and he answered, "My stepdad is famed basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. He never listens to me and his inventions often work better than mine."

So that helped me right there - Shaq became an important NPC in the mystery (he is the owner of the Natural History Museum, in fact) - and it's little things like this that helped me realize I don't have to prepare a Dread game that much: I can just write an outline with a lot of blanks, and have those blanks filled in by the players' questionnaires.

The only thing worse than describing a convention is describing an RPG in detail, so I won't tell all about The Mystery in the Museum, but it was fun and came to a satisfying conclusion: The Beauty (long-haunted by the fact that she had to eat her little brother to survive) redeemed herself by shooting a gun out of the villain's hand.

I kept expecting the Jenga Tower to fall (since that's the thing about Dread - when someone knocks down the Tower, their character dies), but they made it through without any fatalities... except for the villain. The Bully tackled him and put a sack (containing a poisonous snake) over his head.

I am amazed and pleased that this game was kind of similar to our old Ghosty Teen shows.

As for Disney Zombies... this would be different. I'd be with experienced gamers, including someone who writes games for Call of Cthulhu. And I didn't want the game to be a run-of-the-mill zombie survival story with just Disney characters. And I wasn't as prepared as I'd like.

But it still turned out fine. We had seven players: Scar (from The Lion King), Clayton (from Tarzan), Sally (from The Nightmare Before Christmas), Gonzo (from The Muppets - technically he's not a Disney animated character, but he was too much fun to deny), Huey (from DuckTales), and Mulan and Mushu (both of Mulan). Seven also might be too many players for me: 4-6 is probably my ideal number.

I'd expected (and hoped for) some personality clashes between Scar and Clayton, the two villains, and characters that would never get along, since one is a villainous lion and the other is a villainous hunter. They both were prepared to backstab the other, but sadly, it never came to a pass (though there were several times Clayton showed me the note, "I'm going to shoot Scar.").

I'd like to keep this game's plot under wraps, since I hope to run it again as a short campaign instead of a one-shot, but it went really well.

Despite having zombie-fighting "tanks" Clayton (armed with a rifle and six bullets) Mulan (armed with a sword and 10 arrows), the heroes of the game were Gonzo and Mushu.

Gonzo, with his rocket-powered roller skates and a portable cannon he could use to launch himself, showed an insane amount of bravery (maybe you could call it recklessness), and showed even more heart. He'd often do things that seemed suicidal (I even asked, in a very unbiased way, "Wait... are you sure you want to fire yourself into that dark and scary courtyard?"), but true to character, always came out unscathed. And I was touched that he did his best to take care of a dying bird.

Mushu was the same, he'd often pull from the Tower with the intent to fail and die, but he successfully crawled up the pants of the Mad Hatter, detonated his stash of fireworks to blow up an entire zombie horde, knocked a chandelier on an approaching zombie, and used his shinju-kyo (spirit mirror) to save Huey's life.

Sadly, though, in the final moments of the game, someone knocked over the Tower. Sally was pulled under the many coins of the Money Bin (presumably by Scrooge McDuck), and her body could not be recovered.

Though the game ended with a victory for the players, it also ended with a big "The End?" and already, I'm thinking about getting another game together.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Heart Dread (the RPG)

As mentioned earlier, this weekend will mark my return to running a gaming table, and not just once, but twice. So get ready, I'm taking a break from my nerdy Dragon*Con recaps to write about something even nerdier: role-playing games.

The name of the game is Dread, "a game of horror and hope," and I've been kind of obsessed with it for the past few months.

Instead of using stats and dice to determine a character's abilities and skills (which is something I've never really loved), characters are created by answering a unique questionnaire, and any sort of conflict resolution is decided by pulling a block from a Jenga tower. If the tower falls, that character is somehow removed from the game.

As the tower gets closer to collapsing, the game gets very, very tense. I love it.

Tonight's game is a Ghosty Teen Mystery, featuring some of the people who played in an improvised show of the same name. This'll be the first time any of them has played an RPG before, but gaming is basically the same as improvising, so I'm not worried.

Tomorrow's game is an idea I've been obsessed with for the past few weeks: Disney Zombies. I'm very psyched for this, and would like to do a short campaign set in this world. The players will play any animated character from a Disney show or film (within reason - no Hades or Willie the Giant). So far, people have expressed interest in playing Clayton from Tarzan, Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tinker Bell and Darkwing Duck. It's gonna be good.

(Incidentally, I'd love to hear who you would play in a Disney Zombies game, since it'll help me prep for tomorrow. My choice is obvious; he's the greatest Disney hero of all time: Scrooge McDuck.)

I wish I could go into more detail for both games, but some of the players read this blog, so it'll have to wait until the recap.

And so, game on!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dragon*Con: The Recap (Part III)

Saturday (Day Two)
The hotel screwed up our reservations. We were supposed to get a room with three beds, but when we arrived, they said that wasn't possible, as a roll-away would constitute a fire hazard. They failed to mention our room had a small purple couch, so in the end the bed situation didn't matter, but as way of apology, they offered some free breakfast vouchers.

Since Lynn is a vegan and Kalika usually sleeps late, I got to enjoy two of the vouchers. I win! It was a breakfast buffet, nothing worth writing home to mama about, but the only thing better than breakfast is free breakfast, you know?

Anyway, after eating and dressing, Cakey and I did our thing all afternoon. Oddly, some of his biggest fans include middle-aged women, furries (maybe they think puppetry is one step away from being a furry?), and porny ladies. Cakey reaches across the entire spectrum, apparently.

I also spent some time at the merch tables (there were at least three huge rooms of merch, maybe more) and bought my goggles and computer game. I'm not that into merch (do I really need a t-shirt of some cult movie?), so it's easy for me to not spend money, but there was one Year of Yes moment that might have been a fail, and that moment had to do with a leather mask dealer.

I'm not in dire need of a leather mask (imagine what a superhero would wear over his eyes), but I'm not opposed to them, either. The cheapest of these was $45, which is expensive, and it didn't look great on me. I figured if I ever needed a mask like that, I could get a cheap plastic one at the costume store.

BUT... they had these $20 Mystery Boxes, each of which would hold something worth considerably more than $20. I saw them sell two, they had maybe eight left, and both people got nice, expensive masks. A bargain! I love bargains! And I love mysteries!

But I thought... do I need to buy this? And what if it isn't even a mask, but a leather collar or wristband or something useless that I couldn't even give as a gift? I was still undecided, so I decided to continue walking around, and circle back. About 10 minutes later, I decided, "Eff it, I can spend $20, and I'll totally use that mask for something" and walked back, only to find all the Mystery Boxes had been sold.

It still haunts me to this day.

That night, I changed into my (maskless) priest outfit and made my way out for the big Saturday fun. I had high hopes, since Friday was a pretty good time, but I have to say, Saturday kind of sucked.

The lines for just about everything were ridonkulous, but we did get into some burlesque show. I've seen literally over 100 acts of burlesque; I performed in the 1st Annual New York Burlesque Festival, so it takes a lot to thrill me. And this particular show... wasn't my cup of tea (read: good). We all left during the second act. A man in the audience, seeing a priest leave, asked with genuine concern, "Are y'all offended?"

Nope, just bored.

I finally opted to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show at like 2:30 a.m., about an hour behind schedule. They had a lot of trouble getting the DVD to play (which led to some pretty great catcalls). I've seen Rocky... too many times, and I was hoping the Atlanta cast would knock it out of the park, but they didn't.

In-between all the shenanigans and failures, I kept returning to the event where I should've been all night. It was in the huge ballroom that held the previous night's rave, yet it was mostly empty - less than 100 people were ever in there when I checked in.

And all night, they were just showing random TV clips. Something with Ricky Gervais, then some You Bet Your Life bits with Groucho Marx and Jack Benny, then an insane preview of a sitcom starring Mickey Rooney, Dana Carvey and Nathan Lane. Random stuff. It was insane and mesmerizing and very entertaining. And I bet it would've been life-changing to someone who was high.
At one point they played the old Tootsie Roll commercial, and everyone started singing along, myself included.

I should've stayed there longer, I hit this weird hypnotic state of tranquility while watching Lurch from The Addams Family sing a song while backed up by dancing cuties.

And, really, that was how I ended my Saturday night, alone and dressed like a priest, still awed by the glowing randomness that is television.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dragon*Con: The Recap (Part II)

Let's reminisce! Gonna take it in the same way Schneider would, one day at a time. And the order of events might be a little off, please forgive me, we were up till about 4 a.m.

Friday (Day One)
Lynn, Kalika and I arrived in Atlanta in the evening (reminder: next year leave on Thursday night or super-early on Friday), and by the time we checked in to the hotel, ate dinner, got our badges and changed into our eveningwear, most of the events were done for the day (including, I am sad to say, a Cinematic Titanic presentation of The Wasp Woman featuring Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu, which I really wanted to see). But that was OK, as there was still plenty of partying to do.

I wore my Ghostbusters uniform, since I didn't really have any idea what the convention would be like, and thought this was a safe choice. I even got a few compliments, my favorite one was a guy just hissing, "Venkman... Venkman!" in a pretty good Ray Stantz impression as we passed each other on the stairs.

Most of that night was spent walking around and looking at other people's costumes, which, as I've said before is one of my favorite things. A random search on flickr should give you a good idea of what was there, and I took a bunch of pictures which will hopefully be uploaded to my own account by the end of the week.

And lest you think we're a bunch of wallflowers, of course we took some time out to dance in one of the dance rooms. The cool thing about Dragon*Con is that every night there are one or two dance parties going on, and they're usually themed. This one was called "XTrack Party," and its theme seemed to just be "rave" or "generic dance party."

But it was still pretty good, and was probably the most fun I had dancing that weekend - mostly because I was still fresh. I have but one regret, and that is not dancing with Ms. Marvel, or at least telling her that her costume was amazing. It really was.

There was also some obligatory visiting of the Drum Circle room, which I believe is a tradition of Lynn's and Ainsley's, though it's not my cup of tea, and then we caught the end of a concert by The Protomen.

This is where things got bad. During their final number, one of the band members jumped from the stage. I think he was intending to crowd dive, but he jumped where there was no one standing, right over the heads of Ainsley and Bob, and he landed badly. Very badly, like, he didn't get up.

At first, I thought he might be doing it on purpose and faking, since who would intentionally land head first on the ground? But a few seconds passed, Ainsley knelt down by him to check on him, and pretty soon she was getting a security guard.

It was disturbing as heck, I honestly thought he could be dead, his body was just limp and splayed out, but Ainsley said he was at least responding to her saying, "Don't get up, don't move, help is on the way." And before that, he was trying to get up, so that makes me believe he didn't injure his neck or spine too badly.

We didn't see the EMTs take him away (though we did see them wheel in a stretcher), and I can't find any news on the Internet, but I hope he's OK. If anyone knows of anything, please let me know.

It's strange, going from having a good time to being awed and silenced by the fragility of human life, but that was basically how I ended my first night at the con.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dragon*Con: The Recap (Part I)

So, Curious Jorge, you wanna know about Dragon*Con?

Well, it was pretty terrific. One of the most fun weekends I've ever had... and that says a lot.

And I didn't really do too much, either. I only attended one panel (on Doctor Who, and it wasn't nearly as revealing as I would've liked), skipped all the role-playing games (since I'm running two, yes, two, games this weekend, so I'll get my fill soon enough), and was pretty frugal on merch (I think I just bought goggles with 3-D lenses, a homemade computer RPG, and some gifts).

So what did I do, then, that made this such an awesome vacation?

In a word, Cakey.

For most of Saturday and Sunday, about 18 hours total, Cakey and I walked around, met people, got our photo taken, and handed out stickers. And it was a LOT of fun, more fun than I can put into words without making this entry too self-promoting.

From this n00b's perspective, a big part of Dragon*Con is taking pictures of people in costumes. I love doing it, but instead was one of the people getting their picture taken, because a talking cake is a pretty interesting novelty, even at a place like Dragon*Con.

And I normally shy away from the spotlight, too, even when acting in the Renaissance Festival or announcing for roller derby. Strangers scare me, what can I say? But Cakey made it totally easy. Whoa, reading that makes me think I'm gonna end up like Scarface (the Batman villain, not Al Pacino).

But I spent all day doing this. I'd go to one hotel, do a round, and be psyched because there were all sorts of new people in costumes, and decide to go around again. And that's how 9 hours would slip by, just going between two hotels.

One of my favorite experiences (and I don't wanna bog down the blog with a lot of boring details) was meeting Silent Bob (someone dressed up like him, not the actual Kevin Smith) warily watching Cakey and me as we did our thing.

I asked if he'd like a sticker, he hesitantly nodded, and, totally in character, didn't speak. From that point on, whenever we ran into him, Cakey would gleefully scream like a baby and want to be near Silent Bob, who was pretty freaked out and would run away. It was a very true and beautiful comedic bit between two awesome dudes at a con.

Also, I'm not crazy in acting like Cakey is a real person. I'm really not.

Anyway, this is the first picture I've found of us on flickr (Cakey's distracted by the merch)...

As you can see, I'm not dressed like a Ghostbuster, a priest or a gnome, because it wouldn't make sense for any of them to be with Cakey. And I wasn't gonna wear boring civilian clothes, so I wore my roller derby announcer attire.

You know, because we're classy like that.

I was frequently mistaken for...
- Ned from Pushing Daisies, I guess because Cakey sort of looks like a pie.
- The hallucination scene from Young Sherlock Holmes, which is more conceptual than anything.
- The cake from Portal. People would constantly shout, "The cake is a lie!" to which I'd respond, "No, the cake is alive." This lost its novelty after about the 50th time I said it.

And there's really gnome more to say about the Cakey-related part of the convention.

I'll write about everything else in another (shorter) entry.