Saturday, April 20, 2002

It's my birthday.

Dave and Nick gave me three books (Everything's Eventual, The Gates of Sleep, and Sword Sworn), two CDs (Michelle Branch and the new Jimmy Buffett), and a DVD (Train, live). I like them all, even if they are rather... uninspired. Unsurprisingly, the gifts from my parents are late. My birthday happens on the same day, every year, without fail. Then again, so does Christmas, and they can't seem to manage that one either.

Big plans for tonight - dinner at the Macaroni Grill, then we're going to the Improv to see Jeff Dunham. I saw him on TV a few times, but I've never seen him live, so I'm looking forward to it. All in all, it's been a nice birthday. 26 isn't a milestone age, so I didn't have any soul-searching moments. Maybe because I've done enough of that lately with grad school. I'm just not that big of a soul-searcher; when I search souls, they generally belong to fictional characters.

Like Dash. I've been doing a lot with Dash lately. He's got a lot of the intense-dark I like to play with.

Hey, it's my birthday. Shouldn't I be king?

Thursday, April 18, 2002

You know how people say you can find anything on the Internet? Well, I've found something you can't. Young Wizards fansites, or fic somewhere besides The Pit of Voles. For those not in the know, the Young Wizards books are a five-plus-two book series by Diane Duane. (Yeah, five-plus-two, not seven. See, there are five YW books, which are aimed at young adults, and two in the same universe aimed more at adults. The 'adult' books are about cats. Go fig.) YW is basically urban fantasy, about two suburban kids who become wizards and go about saving the universe, one day at a time. In the meantime, they also have to deal with bullies, schoolwork, brat kid sisters, worried parents, and the horrors of puberty. Sounds cliched, but like most good stuff, it's the characters that save it. If you haven't read them, go do so. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. The first book is called So You Want to be a Wizard.

What, you're still here?

Okay, I'm going to assume that you have a working knowledge of the books. There may be spoilers.

I'm startled that there aren't any YW sites out there, because I feel like I can't be the only adult fan out there... if nothing else, there have to be people who discovered them earlier in life, like I did, and still love them. The fifth book just came out, after all (and it's about damn time!). I've got fic ideas for Kit and Nita, but they're all at least sort-of adult. I also actually have a Tom/Carl fic in progress (I have no doubt they're a couple, and I'm told Duane's Door into Fire series has a gay couple in it, so the author's probably doing it on purpose). Yeah, I want to see Kit & Nita's faces when they find out that "friends" isn't the ONLY relationship between those two.... But I wish I knew people would read it, if I finished it.

Kings can pay people to design web sites for them, so, clearly...
I've had something I've wanted to mention here for the past two days, but when I'm actually sitting in front of my computer, I can never remember what it is. Grr.

Oh, yeah.

At ASU, doctoral candidates can essentially teach whatever they're writing their thesis about. I'm taking such a class this semester, Dangerous Figures on the Rennaissance Stage. One of the things we have to produce for the class, is a ten-page paper with actual new, original material. I find this somewhat intimidating, and the class, while enjoyable, is difficult. To be honest, this class is what made me question getting a master's in English lit, because if I'm having this much trouble in an undergraduate class, will I be able to handle graduate-level work?

Then Tuesday my professor told us that this class was harder than most graduate-level classes. So I'm not worried any more.

No, I haven't decided about grad school, but it does bring lit back into the realm of the possible.

But I'm still not king.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

I'm having issues with publicity. As in, how to do it. Why do business majors and sci-fi fans seem to be so mutually exclusive? We could really use a few people who understand publicity and how to get some.

Some back story on my problem:

As you may or may not know, science fiction convention attendance has been deteriorating a lot in recent years. For those of us who volunteer for the cons, we've been bending our brains to try and figure out why. My personal guess has to do with the advent of the Internet. With a place you can go (albeit virtually) and discuss whatever it is you like with a bunch of other people who like the same thing, actually going to a physical convention loses a certain amount of relevance. Additionally, with cons bringing in media people, like actors and writers, traditional author-driven cons are falling by the wayside.

Phoenix is home to, among other things, LepreCon, a local con with an art emphasis. (It features arguably the best sf-themed art show in the Southwest.) Phoenix also appears to be host to a plethora of anime fans. Despite being the sixth-largest city in the country, there are plenty of folks who still believe we live in Hicksville, and that's perhaps the reason why we don't have an anime con.

Okay, so there are lots of anime fans out there, and lots of fans who produce works (fan fiction, art, vids, etc.) on the Internet. It seems obvious to me that perhaps these people would like a place to get together in real life to talk about the stuff they like, and advocate it to the unbeliever (or at least the unexposed).

It'd be a bit much to demand that LepreCon give up some of its coveted function space for a theory, though. Fortunately, my social group primarily consists of a group of young, enthusiastic fen, who want to preserve the culture we love so much. We decided that ASU's sf club, THEM, could perhaps sponsor a room where panels on fanworks and anime could be held. (Since THEM's also the driving force behind the well-known THEM Anime review site, it seemed like a good match.)

So somehow (read: it was my idea) I ended up head of this little group. We have fan workers and anime experts in our group, but naturally not nearly enough to run all the panels I want. I need other creative types and anime people to help - to come to the con, be on the panels, talk it up to their friends. And, being a quiet introverted type, publicity is not my strong suit.

Maybe if I put it on my blog, the three people who read it can tell their friends.

What we're looking for:

People willing to come to LepreCon 28, May 17-19, 2002, in Phoenix, Arizona and participate in panels, essentially roundtable discussions about fan works and/or anime. (Some potential panel titles include: Lost in Translation: Hacking up Anime for American Audiences; Battle of the Sexes: Talking About Shoujo/Shounen Anime; Three-Hanky Animes: Beyond Sex and Slapstick; Making Our Own Myths: Fanfiction and Society; Feedback is Your Friend: Praising Fanworks; and Beyond Cheesy Photoshop Filters: Originality in Fan Art). If this is you, PLEASE send me an email. Soon.

People willing to come to the con and *go* to these panels.

LepreCon 28's official site is here.

Not king, because then I could just MAKE people come.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

You know you're an English major when...

(1) You write a paper explaining how the use of feng shui at the Disney parks has assisted Disney in making millions (I didn't do this, but one of my fellow students did).

(2) In a discussion about the cartoon Birdman, you compare his actions to those of Hamlet - and then you wonder what his "vicious mole of nature" is.

(3) You can quote literature off the cuff (see above).

(4) You come up with a new catchphrase to describe what you're talking about ("systems of rebellion," in case anyone cares). People understand you.

(5) People recommend your blog to one another.

(6) You're still not king.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

Item the first: The conference went really well. No major crises, everybody seemed to enjoy it. Somehow everyone decided that if Toni wasn't immediately evident, I was the one who should get asked. So I got to be the con Stephanie. But after handling local cons, a conference with an attendance of less than 200 was a walk in the park. However, it was really nice to be involved in running a con where everything was so professional. Jaime Molera, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and our keynote speaker, showed up early enough to have lunch with us, and stayed through the awards ceremony. (He actually stayed because Tara Hitchcock, who was supposed to accept the special award he was supposed to be presenting, was 40 minutes late, but the teachers didn't know that.) Frank Camacho of Newschannel 3 was our M.C., and he did a great job.

Jaime Molera has a personal assistant. What a lousy job that must be. (Personal assistant, not necessarily Jaime Molera's.) Following someone around, keeping track of everything for them, and basically living their life without the perqs or the salary that goes with it. I loaned her a highlighter. (She asked for one. I had one. Crisis averted.)

Item the second: If you haven't yet, go see Ice Age. It's absolutely hysterical, and I loved it.

I first heard about Ice Age at ComicCon in July last year, where they showed the trailer with the squirrel trying to bury his nut in the ice. I hated it. I thought it looked stupid. Understand that I have an extremely low tolerance for slapstick. A couple of weeks ago, I saw the HBO "First Look," where they interviewed the three main voice actors, and decided it had potential. (Denis Leary's in it; it can't be all bad.) Last night, Jane and her family went to see it, and since I was there, I came along. ROTFLMAO. The writing is intelligent and actually funny, and the delivery is unsurprisingly dead-on. The slapstick's funny as well, in part because it isn't the same thing over and over. It's a theme, but there are strong variation, and... well, that little squirrel steals the show, paws down. The last five minutes of the movie are absolutely the funniest. I loved the gay rhino couple, characters who (shock!) didn't make it into the trailers. Plotwise, it was completely predictable, but it was so well-done you didn't mind. Go see.

Let's see... I gave Jane a sugar scrub of her own, and a tub of massage lotion, both in soothing lavendar vanilla. With a wedding coming up, she needs all the relaxation she can manage. I also gave her a GI Joe t-shirt, which she did love, and wore today.

Today we changed the color of the bridesmaid dresses from celadon to hunter (and I ordered mine), got a lot of writing done and quite a few new ideas for character torment in the novel-length main universe, wandered the mall, and had sushi. We were quite productive. It's nice to be home, though.

Not king. But if I were, I'd probably have to have a personal assistant.