The last post was awfully long, with the zombie pictures and everything, so here’s the overflow.

A while ago a group in an on-line community that I belong to (the Ankh-Morpork Knitters’ Guild on Ravelry) decided to create a group afghan for Terry Pratchett, the author of the books upon which the group is based who was recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.* We finally got it done, and the lovely lady who volunteered to sew all the squares together and back it got a chance to present it to Mr. Pratchett in person. Here’s a more comprehensive picture of it; assuming (1,1) is the top left square my squares are at (9,3) (a hedgehog) and (9,9) (red and white striped stocking close-up). I am quietly proud.

And the last GenCon post was more about the zombies than it was about the steampunk, wasn’t it? Rest assured that the steampunkery was not neglected!** The dance on Saturday was a steampunk theme, and yours truly and cenobyte were in fact featured (in last years’ costumes) on Page 100 of the event guide, as part of the dance advert. Again, I am quietly proud. However, I am lacking pictorial evidence of our costumes this year, since my brain was starting to leak quietly out my ears by Saturday (so I didn’t take any of myself) and I cannot find anything with a quick Google. I started making my buckled overskirt at 11:00 PM the evening before we left*** and it turned out pretty well though I need some kind of butt-bow**** to cover the placket in the back and it can benefit from more trimmings as well as something other than a safety pin to hold it closed. I may wear it to the Handcar Regatta if we can go this year.

And here’s something not related to anything else, but it’s funny; an MST treatment of some really really REALLY bad fanfic. Like, almost “Eye of Argon” bad (which itself has been MSTed here). It’s a Sailor Moon + Daria crossover. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And another thing... ChaCha is a new service that provides free answers to questions that you call or text in. It's people doing this; ChaCha has literally thousands of people (who get paid $0.20 per question) who do all the lookups for you and/or provide an opinion. If you've read The Diamond Age, you'll probably see this, as I did, as yet another example of Neal Stephenson's prescience... these people are prototype ractors. Technology provides the tools for people to interact with people, not the replacement. Interesting.

* Grammarians, I dare you to diagram that sentence!

** For example, we brainstormed some great ideas for a steampunk action movie, the tagline of which will be "I am vexed by these thrice-cursed marmosets on this thrice-cursed zeppelin!"

*** Why does inspiration always arrive when one doesn’t have the time to properly entertain it?

**** Yes, that’s the official tailoring term.

We're back from GenCon 2008, and I'm glad to be home in dry, cool(ish) weather.* We met up with Cenobyte, and QKv2.0, and Suz + Cheruby, and the Too Tall Guy, and Thunderhowl and Ferlak.** Here's a picture of most of them all together, too. R:tAG had to work through most of the con, but their game has gotten a lot of interest so yay!***

It was very fun. I bought some very pretty stuff, like a Shoggoth necklace complete with running victim:

And a Cthulhu necklace with a lovely piece of mother-of-pearl:

Pictures do not do them justice, especially with a cell-phone camera, but our real digital camera is on the fritz. They are handmade in silver by an artist from Quebec, and they're really lovely.

And we dressed up. Here is a photojournal of the Victorian Zombie experience:



And probably my favouritest pic of them all:

The little girl in the stroller would not stop laughing and smiling at us. Even when we told her we would eat her brains, her smile got wider and wider, and as her parents wheeled her off we heard a high-pitched little "om nom nom!" receding into the distance. Epic zombie fail!

More GenCon pictures here, more zombie pictures here. Good times. I didn't take enough pictures at the Steampunk Ball, though. Phoo. And a small child vomited on my luggage on the airplane home. But apart from that, good times!

* Though Indianapolis was actually pretty dry and cool for the time of year. Not like last year, when walking outside was like being slapped with a hot sweaty sock.

** My one intentional pic of Thunderhowl turned out terrible, and I have none of The Mysterious Ferlak at all.

*** And yes, he is going up to Toronto in two days for another convention. No, I don't know how he does it.

R:tAG is feeling better, but everyone should still noodzh him into seeing a physiotherapist to find out what preventative measures he can take. And then noodzh him into actually taking those preventative measures.

So I didn’t want to really mention this at the time, because of perhaps over-thought privacy concerns and everything, but the “quite a lot of stuff” that I mentioned in my last post including entertaining the fabulous Neuba and James, seen here experiencing Bay Area prices* for the first time:

Despite R:tAG’s lack of mobility we got a reasonable amount of stuff done, showing our guests some of our favourite places and also turning them loose to fend for themselves (and walk for miles; sorry about that) when we had to work. So it was an excellent visit and it was wonderful to see them again!

If you like fantasy on the order of George R. R. Martin or Warhammer (low, gritty, muddy, cussin’, bad-things-happening-to-good-people fantasy, in other words) then may I recommend Joe Abercrombie? I’m halfway through the second book of his “The First Law” series, and I am enjoying it quite a bit.

Other links:

This must say something about our society. I’m not sure what, but it must say something.

I’m not going to complain about my ant problem for a good long while.

Those Twilight books seem to be the new big tweener thing (alas for feminism). I don’t have to read them, thanks to the marvelous Cleolinda. ETA: They seem to be a direct ripoff of the Anita Blake books, just minus all the sex. And plots not related to sex. And female characters who are easily differentiated from doormats. OK, I'll stop now. ETAA: Check these out. Haw!

I think I need these boots like I have never needed footwear before.

* This was the same restaurant wherein Cheruby managed to break a tooth on scrambled eggs; we had no dental misfortune during this meal.


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