Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Metropolis memorabilia

As a fan of the groundbreaking 1927 film Metropolis, I found this program from the London premiere pretty fucking awesome. In addition to a cast list and synopsis of the movie, the program contains articles, pictures taken during production and even some scene-for-scene comparison of the script and the original story on which the film was based.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Every time someone draws a fairy, god kills a kitten

Oh GalaxyFest, you took me back to a time when cons were all about socializing and I didn't even know panels or celebrities existed! It was startlingly like the conventions I attended 20+ years ago. I wandered the hotel, people-watching and showing off my own costume. I hung out in my room with my friends; we drank a lot and might have* broken some laws. We ate some pretty good food and walked some of the neighborhood around the hotel. In the entire weekend, I only went to one panel.


I missed most of the costume contest on Saturday night (ref. boozing it up in the hotel room), but I caught the end when the winners were announced. Some of them were pretty cool, including a very faithful Codex*. The steampunk fashion show was much like any other fashion show, except the models were varied in their shapes and sizes, which is always a pleasure to see. Some designs and designers were interesting, creative and original, others less so. I didn't manage to catch the burlesque shows, though I hear they were entertaining. The kiltblowing event -- undeniably for adults -- was definitely a good time.

*She's a character on The Guild, which if you don't watch, you are lame.

My Snake Plissken costume turned out swell, even if my gun did keep flopping around because the spraypaint fucked with the duct tape's adhesive. Making the costume was a fun and educational process. I riveted! A handful of people asked if I was a character from something, and all of one person recognized who I was supposed to be. My favorite, though, was the person who asked if the eyepatch was part of a costume or did I use it all the time. I looked cool.

Sadly, Claudia Christian didn't make it because she started work on a new project. Boo that she wasn't there, but yay that she's working. It turns out that I made no effort to see any other celebrities, either. It might have been neat to meet Denise Crosby, but I wasn't so motivated that I even looked for her events on the schedule.

One of my favorite parts of a con, the dealers' room, was surprisingly good for such a small event. Lots of local artists who make nifty stuff, from jewelry to clothing to sculptures and other art, and not many tables full of comics and Star Trek trading cards. Unfortunately, there weren't enough funny t-shirts. I was, however, able to find something both affordable and groovy, so now I own a pretty chainmail bracelet that I've spent more time playing with than wearing.

The most surprising thing about the weekend was the art show. In a show that didn't even fill one small room, I found several things that I wanted. Not just liked, but genuinely wanted to own. To put that in perspective, I'm being generous in saying I don't appreciate most fantasy art. Every time someone draws a fairy, god kills a kitten. And still, I liked a lot of the art in this show.

On other matters of taste, the con was heavy on the steampunk, which is getting old fast. It'll be nice when that genre has fallen to the wayside enough that the costumes are once again interesting and creative instead of uninspired and commonplace. I blame the revamped Doctor Who for this. Well, since I'm lookin' to get my ass kicked with that kind of talk, I'll move on.

Since this was GalaxyFest's first year, I'm hesitant to criticize too much. However, I will note that I sure hope they work out some of the kinks. It'd be cool if the registration desk was staffed by people who were prepared to manage the chaos. The program needs to contain clear & accurate information and should be laid out in a fashion that makes it useful. The event and panel rooms need signs, with the room schedule at the very least, if not actual information about what's going on inside.

I could go on, but it'd just be nitpicking. All these things require bodies to do the work, and I feel sure some of the problems stemmed from the fact that the event was short-staffed. Volunteers are hard to come by and there are many things at a con that need attention.

The gist of my weekend was that while I'm glad I went and could contribute in some small way to a new con, I don't see myself going to GalaxyFest again until they've got a few years worth of experience. Oh, and a party floor.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pre-con preparations

It's a few days before GalaxyFest and my Snake Plissken costume is coming along swimmingly. I think when it's finished & the con is over, I'll post pictures of the costume-making process. There's also more programming info on the con's website, which is encouraging. It looks a little heavy on the steampunk (the "eurotrash of nerd-dom," as Tinkerballa* put it), but that could be entertaining. Unfortunately, Robert Picardo and Torri Higginson both canceled, but the person I most want to see, Claudia Christian, will still be there.

On a related note, I'm curious to see what the Colorado Springs geek community looks like.

*She's a character on The Guild, which if you don't watch, you are lame.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pilgrimage to my people

It's been over two years since I went to a scifi convention and I'm itching to go spend some quality time in the company of my fellow geeks. DragonCon is out of my financial reach these days, but it so happens there's a sort-of-local con coming up that some friends & I are attending.

GalaxyFest is in Colorado Springs February 24-26, and for a not-huge con, it looks like it could be decent. Last I checked the programming page of their site was empty, but I'm hoping for some more info soon. I'd sure like it if there were some good panels to attend. I do know I'm pretty excited about some of the guests, including Robert Picardo (ST:Voyager; Stargate SG-1 & Atlantis), Torri Higginson (Stargate Atlantis), Denise Crosby (ST:TNG) and *gasp* Claudia Christian (Babylon 5). I'm especially tickled about Claudia Christian, as she played one of my favorite characters on B5, Susan Ivanova.

As far as costuming goes, I'm putting together my version of Snake Plissken from Escape from New York. What can I say, Kurt Russell inspires me. If I think I look cool enough I might even enter the costume contest, something I've never done at a con.

Well, even if this con turns out to be lame, at least I'll have fun with my costume, and I know the folks I'm going with will provide a super good time, assuming none of us has to come up with bail money. Or maybe especially if we do.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Good night, Moon!

Last night when I went to bed, it was with the expectation that I'd miss the totally cool lunar eclipse coming in the early morning. That was okay, though, as bed didn't happen 'til after a full moon snowshoe involving a little booze, a little stumbling around in the woods, and a lot of laughing & fun. We're thinking we should add some mushrooms next time.

Anyway, I woke up a few hours after I made it to bed and it just happened to be shortly before the eclipse started. Not thinking about how ridiculous I was being, I bundled up, grabbed my camera and climbed onto the icy rooftop. It was cold, windy & shitty, but I couldn't convince myself to abandon what was now starting to look very amazing.

My camera batteries died about halfway through the eclipse, so I used that as an excuse to get off the icy, cold, dangerous roof. But, I'm happy with some of the pictures I got, and I look forward to the next eclipse (I think the next one visible from where I am is due in May of 2013, so I have time to plan).

Finally, these are the pics I got -- December 10 lunar eclipse.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Look up!

I live far away enough from civilization, at 9000ft in a national forest in Colorado, that the sky is spectacular pretty much all the time. Even when I can't see the stars, there's something cool going on in the atmosphere. Since I started living at this elevation, I've been continually wowed by the night (and sometimes day) sky, so I thought I'd share a few interesting astronomy links, because what's Out There is really fucking amazing.

I get a lot of cool sky news from, including frequent alerts to upcoming astronomical events. There are a lot of amazing sights to see with or without a telescope. NASA's website is also good for space news, as well as staying up to date on various NASA projects like one of my favorites, the International Space Station. I'm continually awed and envious that there are people living in space right now.

The 'net is loaded with sites full of space pictures, so I'm going to keep it simple. First, check out some awesome Hubble photos from the Gallery at There's a fuckton of other terrfic stuff on that site as well, so browse at your leisure. Then there's Astronomy Picture of the Day, which is, as they say, what it says on the tin, and every day it's something amazing.

For further research I recommend going on a hike during a full moon, gathering your friends together for a little spot-the-satellite drinking game, or getting acquainted with your local astronomy professor. Go study space; it's interesting!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More meming

Day 06 - Favorite episode of your favorite TV show: B5, season three, "War without End," because it explains so much and it's so epic. It also includes a shot of Sinclair from season one's "Babylon Squared" that makes me weak in the knees. And, it's always great to see Zathras.

Day 07 - Least favorite episode of your favorite TV show: I can't choose between "Infection" and "Believers," both season one of B5. They are both all-around shitty episodes, with lots of heavy-handed preaching and contrived moral angst. Even that might not be so bad, though, if both eps didn't also feature my least favourite character, Stephen Franklin. I really can't stand him.

Day 08 - A show everyone should watch: Nova. Go fucking learn something.

Day 09 - Best scene ever: Two scenes jump to mind immediately. From B5, G'Kar's speech to the council in season two's "The Long, Twilight Struggle." The whole scene is pretty awesome, but G'Kar's bit begins at 1:53.

"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power governments and tyrants and armies can not stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free."

I'm pretty sure I've never watched that scene and not been moved to tears. G'Kar is my hero.

The second scene is from season three of Battlestar Galactica, "Exodus, Part 2." I was floored by how cool the Galactica looked jumping into atmo over New Caprica, then watching the vipers shoot out into flames was holy-fucking-shit awesome.

Day 10 - A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving: Castle. I wouldn't quite say I love it, but I like it a whole lot more than I expected, and not just because of Nathan Fillion (though he is the reason I started watching it).

Day 11 - A show that disappointed you: FlashForward. The potential was so great, the possibilities for creativity and weirdness enormous, but they went the route of the soap opera. Even the incredibly hot Sonya Walger couldn't keep me watching these idiots and their personal dramas. And she is really hot.

More meming later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Godzilla is very little...

...and the ISS is very far away. Perspective is awesome.

(Found via @spacehack.)

Return to the Warehouse

Season two of Warehouse 13 started this week, with some ups and some downs. Lattimer and Bering are more annoying than ever, or I'm just less tolerant of their particular brand of obnoxiousness. The adults are so much more interesting and competent. I enjoyed seeing Mrs. Frederic in action, though it's unfortunate her driver's toast. However, the trade-off was Artie, so that's kind of a no-brainer. Artie was as delightful as ever, and even if Claudia is a bit hard to take sometimes, I enjoy their exchanges quite a bit.

My next house is going to have an Escher vault, because that was kickass. It was a shame to see McPherson crumble to dust there at the end, but Wells is interesting enough that I think I'll enjoy her. Now I just hope her story doesn't get put on a back burner in favor of a bunch of monster-of-the-week episodes.

I can't help noticing that I don't think Artie's merely cool and smart and awesome; I also think he's attractive. Same with Walter on Fringe. Somehow there's comfort in knowing my Electra complex is aging right along with me... as well as getting a little more eccentric.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The internet knows what I like

I was going to make a bunch of lame excuses for participating in an "internet meme" (one I found on LiveJournal, no less), but I decided, fuck that, it's entertaining so I'm doin' it.

Thus commences the "30 Days of Television LiveJournal Meme"! Follow along as I answer silly, indulgent questions about how much I love TV and want to marry it and have its babies. (Don't worry, I won't drag this out for thirty days.)

Day 01 - A show that never should have been canceled: Firefly. In case you've been living under a rock (a rock that doesn't receive a television signal, natch), you're aware this was Joss Whedon's 2002 space western, which aired about a dozen episodes before being canned. If it had been made in Japan it would have been called "Beautiful Happy Space Cowboys," and Wash would have been a robot. I miss Firefly.

Day 02 - A show that you wish more people were watching: I only care what other people watch to the extent that (what I consider) a good show has the ratings not to get canceled, so I guess I wish more people were watching all the shows I enjoy.

Day 03 - Your favorite new show (aired this TV season): Human Target. Dramatic chases, exciting fights and things going boom, plus some pretty nice eye candy. Definitely a thumbs up.

Day 04 - Your favorite show ever: Babylon 5. For all its flaws, it has characters I care about in situations that are compelling and entertaining. It tells actual, complete stories over the course of multiple seasons, and has characters who change and grow. A good bit of it is derivative, and even when the writing's at its best it's still pretty hammy, but it tells stories that move me. I've watched the entire series a few times and some episodes I can go back to over and over; it's like comfort food.

Day 05 - A show you hate: I don't really hate any shows, but since I'm no longer living with a TV signal, it's kind of nice to know I'll never be channel-surfing again and run across Ghost Hunters or some shit like that.

Well, I think that's enough for today. Look for more silly, indulgent questions when next I post.