Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting Old is Weird

'Bring on the Dancing Horses' was the first time I ever heard Ian McCulloch's voice, and I can remember exactly how my awkward, shy teenage self felt about it: he sounded like an angel.
I heard this song last night, after squeezing in a gym session, rushing to the grocery before it closed so I could pick something reasonable up for an impromptu barbecue tomorrow with some friends. It came on in the midst of my shop, and it's strange and sad and wonderful to remember that teenage feeling whilst perusing the produce and deciding what kind of trail mix to buy.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Getting All Up in ComicCon, First Time Styles Edition

Can you believe with all my Star Trekking and comic-booking and nerd love fangirling that I've never attended ComicCon in San Diego until this year?

A good friend who attends on industry passes invited me along this year, and I jumped at the chance to go to geek mecca.

Also, I heard a little show called Sherlock would panel this year.

Oh girl, it was ON.

We packed up and made the 6 hour trek down from the Bay to pit stop in Los Angeles for a few days prior, down Interstate 5. Usually the flats are a wasteland, we were lucky it was an unusually GORGEOUS drive. We're cool like that.

A few days of shopping and dranks and shoring up sleep in LA, and we headed to the Con.

We arrived.


(This is like, 1/8 of the floor.)

And we had a great time. I could go on and on about the displays (BBC America's Doctor Who fashions over the years was stellar), or the cool orgs tabling (Kirby Museum! Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!) or the nice artists we chatted with (Brom!) but what I was really struck by was not only the sheer massive volume of geekery on display and in conversation, but at how absolutely wonderful we geeks are. It's not merely a back-patting, it's the truth. In an enormous mass of excited and sometimes bulkily-attired people, every time I was bumped I received an "excuse me" or "sorry." On several occasions we were witness to expensive electronics being found and turned in immediately. Everyone was stoked to be with their people, and I must say I was so impressed with the camaraderie and friendliness and willingness to talk about nerd love in a rational (and may I say, Vulcan-like, even!) manner that was displayed over my 4 days in geek heaven.

Ah, and alas, the Sherlock panel was not to be on my agenda as it looks like any panel of extreme note (this one had Stephen Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue) required overnight campouts in line. And when it comes to that kind of fangirling, saudade does. not. play. Also of note: Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch sent their regards via video, but they did not attend -- something I was a bit surprised by given not only Sherlock, but their current roles in that bastion of geekery, The Hobbit, AND Cumberbatch's roles in both the recent Star Trek and as Julian Assange in the upcoming The Fifth Estate.

So, yeah...I was a bit taken aback at the underrepresentation of Sherlock at the Con, given there was a significant panel, A-list star profiles/projects, and a growing American fanbase (my own recent Cumberbatching may have influenced this as well, but STILL, c'maaaaan). Even the BBC America booth only had what looked like a hastily put-together and half-assed t-shirt (which, ok, yes, I attempted to buy but it was sold out in my size. What?! I am that person.)

Anyway, I'm still a bit high from the nerd love holiday I just experienced. Lovely, lovely time, and I am definitely planning on attending again next year.

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Sunday, July 07, 2013


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th!

Nasturtium firework in my backyard.

(photo by the inimitable Trevor Calvert)

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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

O neglect

I am reminded by my recent gushy Cumberbatch fangirl post -- wherein, he is inducted officially into my man harem, in a wee bit part on rumors of his motorbike love -- that I have yet to post about my own motorcycle! Trevor gifted me with lessons a year ago and I got my license and my bike a month later. It's been super fun and exhilarating, yet also a bit scary at times, and of course very  convenient for city living. I feel both indignant and admittedly hella awesome when I'm out and dudes think that I'm carrying a helmet solely because they think I'm going to hop on the back of some guy's bike.

I also feel that I've become a better automobile driver. Once you ride, you do of course become much more aware of the perils riders face, and if you tend toward being safe and responsible (or generally not a driving nightmare), I suppose that uptick in auto safety may be par for the course.

Anyway, I hardly ever put personal photos up here, but I'm feeling saucy.

Big ups to ladies who ride.

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The Making of a 19th Century Victorian House in London, Built With Mirrors

Perception is the inherited tool we are all born with and we use to understand the world and to achieve knowledge. I think illusion here acts as a trigger, seducing the viewer to participate in the experience while questioning their understanding of reality. The question is not just opposing the illusionary and the real, [it's also] understanding that what we call real is part of a construction.

Dalston House, as it is known, will be on display June 26 - August 4 as part of the London Festival of Architecture. Someone please go and check this out for me!

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Game of Thrones Characters Re-Imagined in 80s/90s Style

My so-called life.

This one is PERFECT.

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P&P and we

2013: 200 years of Pride and Prejudice.

That peacock cover, and the 1880s P&P/Northanger Abbey? WANT.

This P&P retrospective is a classic example of how the intersection of art, design, and literature critically influence (and are influenced by) our rapidly moving culture. I really don't think this is something we often think about whilst picking up a Penguin Classics version of Austen, or Bronte, or Nabokov (or, before you know it: Barbery, or Carlotto, or Meek) at the bookstore. We know we often choose books by their covers (even if, as the author of the slideshow posits, it is embarrassing to admit) but we remain somewhat oblivious to the ideas that went into the why of the approximate size of our beach read, or what is on the cover, or the why of that font as we toss it into our messenger bag. We also don't often entertain how such a critical intersection can be so misunderstood -- even reviled.

Consider that nerdly pursuit, the comic book. Equally a literary and visual art genre, often produced monthly and serially, which positions it perfectly on the pulse of society; a genre that has not only birthed the biggest film blockbusters of every summer season in significant memory, but of late has become a medium that is primarily consumed by adults -- a fact that has revolutionized the industry. All but gone are the crudely drawn, sometimes barely coherent storylines of some major comics of the 70s and 80s that catered to 12 year old boys (and those 12 year olds masquerading as men). If you are going to make it in the comics industry today, the rule of the day is richness: in artistry, design, plotline.

I was sitting in a cafe with Trevor a few months ago, and a friend happened to stop by our table with one of her friends, a man about our age. We had just picked up some weekly comics and were in the process of catching up on our favorite storylines. Our friend's friend saw what we were reading and said, "wow, you're not ashamed to read these in public?"


Stigma prevails; yet, while I lament the ignorance of the brilliant cultural shifts one can see manifest in part through the appreciation of these flimsy paper books, I'm also pretty sure the nerdly reputation of consuming these major tastemakers is something most aficionados wear with pride. I know I do.

Some folks are aware that I am one half of a team publishing chapbooks by California poets with art by California artists. I am really blessed to have a coterie of friends and acquaintances who are vastly talented, challenging, and driven (and community-minded!) in their pursuits, both literary and visual. I also feel blessed to be involving myself in something that not only expresses my love of contemporary American poetry and visual art, but also what those things can say about a moment in time and space.

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