Sun, Sep. 30th, 2012 13:12
jarissa: (Default)
Some years, September 30th is not a big deal to me.
  • I survived the tornadoes of April 2011, and the re-roofing.
  • I have a pretty good family.
  • I missed Dragon*Con but I'm going to spend a week at Disney World later in the year.  I'm making a costume for the Halloween party there -- a costume I've long wished I could do.
  • I survived cancer.
  • I survived cancer treatment.  In fact, at one point I survived two and a half weeks of only being able to eat apple sauce or oatmeal. Hello, weight loss! Where've you been?!
  • I survived finding out that, in a crunch, my parents have my youngest brother's back ... rather than mine.  Still kind of reorienting my world around that one.  It was not any of his doing at all, it was purely them.
  • I read the very last Spenser book.  I've seen a lot of people praise the new guy, but he's writing fan-fiction, not the actual characters as established. Key elements of Spenser, Hawk, and Susan are missing from Lullaby.  Defining traditions of their interaction are missing.  I wish Ace Atkins well, but I won't be picking any more of his versions up.
  • I lost 30 years' worth of hair growth. I started the sequel. I actually have to LOOK already to see my scalp!
  • I got my City of Villains main character to 50 at last.  She successfully -- with a LOT of assistance -- faked her death, and escaped. Now she starts living her life for her own purposes, rather than the mastermind's.
  • I wrote somewhat more than half a book.  As the mental effects of chemotherapy lull, I slowly redevelop momentum on writing the remainder.

This year's marker is worth commemorating, I think.
jarissa: (Default)
This has been one of the least awesome summers I have ever known.

First there was the point where chemotherapy became more than my body could really handle.  I lost the ability to multitask for a while. My short-term memory went pretty fuzzy.  I slept poorly, and I wanted to sleep almost all the time.  I couldn't eat anything but apple sauce for a couple weeks, too.

Then I started radiation.  My symptoms from that could certainly be worse, but this is plenty bad enough.

I had to accept, pretty early this year, that I would not be attending Dragon*Con due to ongoing cancer treatment.

And now....

... City of Heroes is closing down....

I have characters in mid-arc that I cannot give a satisfying conclusion.  I have content in the game that I will never get to see, areas I will never get to explore.  I was just starting to feel that I had the hang of base-building.  I've got a whole slew of fluff-fiction (fan-fiction for a roleplaying game's characters), only a small fraction of which I have posted to FFdotNet or VirtueVerse.

In a couple of days, I will get mad and start solving the problem of saving my memories and images of what I have created.

Right now, I'm grieving the loss of the reliably comforting hobby in my life.  There's no fixing this.
jarissa: (Default)
In any fandom, the ones most likely to be remembered are the ones who behave particularly unusually.  Since Chik-Fil-A decided it'd be an awesome idea to host Atlanta football games every Labor Day Weekend with as many not-from-Atlanta teams as they could get, and encourage the fans of said teams to stay in the Peachtree Center area's hotels (instead of, y'know, hosting pre- and post-game events at the hotels closer to the actual stadium so fans would prefer to stay there overnight), we've had a rapidly increasing problem with the uglier jock-wannabe football fans invading Dragon*Con.  They demand handouts of liquor from convention people who aren't even hosting room parties; they try to force (or buy) their way into the badgeholder-only events, and they gleefully sexually assault the costumers.  And, having ugly minds in the first place, they think all of their behavior is justified by our very existence.

(I have absolutely NO problem with the football fans who are decent human beings, except that as decent human beings they ought to be publicly heaping verbal scorn on the miscreants wearing their colors.  But that's another discussion entirely.)

Last year, the D*C host hotels and Dragon*Con Security started limiting access to the host hotel areas to only persons who either had a Dragon*Con badge or a room key for that particular hotel in their immediate possession.  This helped a bunch, yet by then the hoodlums were already stealing badges; regardless of the circumstances, lost (and not turned in to Security) or stolen, a lack of badge can only be remedied by going to Registration the next morning and purchasing a new badge for the remainder of the weekend.*  As convenient and sturdy as those badge clips are, no design is going to keep a non-piercing metal clip from succumbing to a hard yank.  Sturdy lanyards, attached through the hole in the top of the badge, are going to be the best theft-proofing short of an encompassing case on a metal chain.

I'm not making sturdy lanyards.  Firstly, I am not anywhere near that skilled; secondly, others are already doing it far better than my meager talents could ever provide, and they're doing it at a very reasonable price.  Their lanyards are leather or chainmail, and they look VERY nice.

No, I'm making so-so lanyards, at best.  I'm using yarn, the kind sturdy enough to make a purse, generally acrylic, but -- and this is key -- always ugly.  My goal is to make sure that even the Mad Hatter would question my artistic taste.  In fact, Count Blogg and his Princess would even suggest that those colors don't go well with anything.

One advantage is that the uglier yarns tend to stay in the store long enough to go on sale.  Since I'm absolutely not planning to recoup my expenses, much less turn any material profit, discounted prices are very helpful.

Anyway, I'm picking up a skein or so at a time, and fingerknitting it into reasonable lanyard lengths.  My plan is to spend some time next Dragon*Con, Thursday afternoon and Friday, trading my Fugly Lanyards to people for symbolic prices:  a good deed, or some time spent helping other people to get their own badges, or entertaining parts of the line, or running errands for Disability Services, or schlepping refreshments for the Registration volunteers.  Or, if all else fails, a nickel.  The important thing is to get people to be aware of the chance that some entitled prat is going to be showing up during the convention, and trying to steal a badge so he can get in to the Dragon*Con Only spaces for nefarious purposes.

I'm figuring that very few of my Fugly Lanyards are going to get used through the end of the con.  A shoelace would be better:  just as resistant to yanking, just as machine washable, less visually bewildering, and having a smaller chance of triggering an allergic reaction.  (Though acrylic will help with that somewhat, and may be okay for animal-fiber-allergic types if not okay for eczema types.)  Most of the people who take me up on this offer will be digging out or purchasing a decent lanyard later on; this'll at least get them there without much danger.

Right now, I'm using "Southwest Ombre" (color 02006) from the Loops & Threads "Impeccable" (TM) line.  If that link works, it's currently the second sample in the first row; that sample doesn't accurate convey the sense one gets in person of "WHY would anyone put these colors so closely together?!"  In fact, I like each of the component colors, it's the mixture in rapid series that can cause a check for loss of SAN.  I can (and will!) do worse, though:  my next skein, already set aside for the purpose, will be a color I can only describe as "Tim Burton's Lurid Pumpkin Depression".

A couple of years ago, when I was first learning how to fingerknit, I wound up with some glow-in-the-dark yarn.  I'd love to find it again.  I think it might've been by Bernat, but I no longer have any of the labels.  A line of UFO-greenblue alongside a nice, dull brass or grey, that'd be AWESOME at D*C.  In an "ow, my eyeballs!" way, of course.

I don't know how many of these I'll get done over the next year.  Not enough, certainly.  But I see the problem, and I am going to be part of the solution instead of just yammering about what ought to be done, because fifty thousand of my closest peers deserve a trouble-free time on Labor Day Weekend.

And, let's be honest here, because trading away these ugly things will entertain the hell out of me.

*I don't actually know what happens when it's an Eternal or Guest badge that's stolen.  I take for granted that we would still have to buy a rest-of-the-weekend badge for that year.
jarissa: (Default)
It's technically no longer Friday Night here at Dragon*Con.  I have taken pictures from a photoshoot of Greek mythological figures, plus some awesome pictures of Thor and Hercules (from the Avengers!) and their buddy/target Spiderman, a perfect-at-zero-feet Sorceress of Greyskull, and some gorgeous couples (like Wonder Woman and the God of War, or Han Solo and Princess Leia).  This album should be viewable by the public, on Google's  Picasa service, without having to log in.  All pictures are offered on the Creative Commons 

Once the Master Post of Photos goes up on  [livejournal.com profile] dragoncon I will also post a link there.
jarissa: (Default)
Dragon*Con is coming, and I'm storing up some stock info in this post which I will improve with custom conditions for the given situation, plus rephrasing the whole thing in hopefully-entertaining ways.  There's no Ticketmaster this year, so certain popular questions from last year are whittled down to a much more modest size.

Can I pick up Person B's badge? )

Styles available for the above:
GMing an indie tabletop RPG (Pre-Reg Postcard becomes CHARACTER SHEET, permission slip becomes YOUR CHARACTER PROXY, roll d20 + Savoir Faire -- if result is greater than 15, go to alphabet segment for Person A; equal or less than 15, go to Solutions Line, on a botch let five people go ahead of you and then roll again).
Space Marines Drill Instructor.  I'm gonna need a picture for this one.  I wonder if the guys will pose?
Once upon a time there was a beeeeeeYOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUteeeeeeeful princess, and her name was Buttercup....
jarissa: (Default)
I wanted to answer this post with a firm admonishment to acquire a live chicken, an egg beater, and a jar of peach preserves.

(Instead, I politely provided the post with the "FAQ" and "First Timer" tags, which are certainly much more useful AND relevant to the topic in question.)
jarissa: (Default)
Home.  Made it safely.

Legs hurt:  this is expected, despite hydrochlorotwhatsit.  Feet are swollen, so possibly also carrying extra fluid in leg muscles.

Monday around 11:00 a.m., I realized I was DONE.  Con was still in progress, I was interested in panels at 11:30 and two more at 1:00 p.m., but ... no way.  I was officially done.  Notified the Manly Contingent, trudged back to Hilton, fell back into bed, and slept at least five hours.  On my way to the room, I saw Tireseas at work, and took photographic proof from the hallway leading to my room.

Fingers hurt:  this was not expected, exactly, but makes sense, as we went through some rain and hail thick enough that most drivers pulled over to let the storm pass.  I am ballsy, not entirely unacquainted with the safety principles of "driving through blizzard", and capable of switching my brain to "watch for changes in light+shadow pattern" instead of "watch for color and apparent size changes"; this time around, the weather didn't quite get to the limits of my tolerance for safely driving through the storm.  However, in case of wind-tossing or instants of hydroplaning, I maintained a death grip on the steering wheel.

I remember thinking clearly, at least twice, "this would be a particularly sucky time for the power steering to go out again."  Fortunately, Deity did not find the premise amusing.

I still have not asked an intelligent, discussion-provoking question at panel.  Asked something at the Weird West panel that got me an, "I'll have to think about that," and off to the next question.  Maybe next year!  I did, however, make it to ConSuite, introduce myself to a Track Director, and the jury is still out on whether I'll find myself in anyone's photo collections.

While in the Bujold reading, I fingerknit a bookstrap for Tireseas' hardback, which I was carrying to get signed for him in return for his having done me the favor when Diane Duane came to Huntsville.  Had the MASSIVELY INSANE thought, later, "I could try fingerknitting myself a dress."  Dearly Beloved turned up the "saving you from yourself" card and pointed out very quickly how irate I would be, six months down the road, as this project goes to hell in a discordant handbasket.

In fact, we have given ourselves a mandatory two days' "sleep on it" before even strongly-tentatively committing ourselves to any particular project for next year.  Even the one Tommy likes.

Animals are home, itchy but not furious at us.  Everyone but me is asleep.  I guess I should sleep, too.  Pictures are mostly labeled, and will be uploaded to at least one gallery tomorrow.


Thu, Sep. 3rd, 2009 03:34
jarissa: (Default)
I have updated my ramble regarding two of Eideann's fanfics.

I have added a picture to the post about the Cane Seat project, and then I finished that as far as it's gettin' finished this year.

I have posted Helpful Answers to the Master Posts over on [livejournal.com profile] dragoncon .  Paranoia may well turn out to be even funnier than the Oracle answer of a few days ago.  However, I later smurfed up the He-Man answer, and I think that means I'm now too exhausted to accomplish anything.

I need to fill up the travel bottles for shampoo and conditioner and body wash, in the morning.  I need to find out if anybody has any need for rechargeable AA batteries, and the recharger.  I need to pack up the coffee machine, and the reusable pod, and the grinder.  I need to wash out the mug.

I'm gonna be doing all that last set real damn fast after I get five hours' sleep!

See folks at 'Con.  Or next week.

jarissa: (Default)
I'm not frantic or anything.

But I'm now having to regularly repress the urge to answer every "I can't find this info anywhere, what do I need to bring if i want to {get my friend's badge/find safe parking/get food/get MY badge when it was bought for me through TicketMaster/cope}?" post over on [livejournal.com profile] dragoncon  with "A live chicken, and some PEACH PRESERVES!"

Fortunately, so far, everyone's kindlier instincts are holding out; no one has been subjected to the full brunt of my stressed sense of humor.

(Though [livejournal.com profile] gothpanda  was in danger of it for a moment, there, solely due to the timing of what I was doing that day.)
jarissa: (Default)
As I phrased it elsewhere:  I like to sit.

A lot of good moments in Dragon*Con are prefaced by standing around in line for a long time. I am old and in lousy shape, and it hurts. Sometimes it's enough of a problem that I am too worn down to attend later good moments.  At first, I thought I would purchase a collapsible camp chair in a bag from Target, either replace or cover the seat and back portions with something more attractive, either replace or use fabric paint to draw all over the exterior of the bag, and then start adding Devices as far as my inventiveness would take me; of course, it'd take me a minimum of a couple minutes to set it up any time I wanted to sit, and probably longer to put it away when I suspected I was about to move.  I had, of course, heard of Rollators and felt they were wrong for my purpose, but a friend pointed out to me a much simpler tool:  a cane that can fold out to be a tripod, with a little seat on it, for short sits while waiting in line.

I started with this cane seat, purchased for around $35 at a medical supply store in Huntsville.  I dunno what they mean by "foam grip handle" unless they mean "the hard plastic we used to make the handle was, at one time, sorta foamy before it dried"; now it's hard as the metal bits.  I'll likely be padding that somehow, in addition to Mad Sciencing it up.  I wanted to get the Rubbermaid version, but had no success in my attempts to find it anywhere.  The head of the cane was much better for costume purposes and for decorating/improving purposes.

(That reminds me:  I have got to find a cheap, silent battery-operated handheld fan, that takes AA batteries, since that's what I have in the way of rechargeables, in a color that won't make my eyes bleed if I am about to discover a migraine.  Bonus points if it lights up, veto if it has a cartoon or toy character on it!)

I am using Liquid Leaf (copper) to repaint all the silver parts of the legs, without sanding them first.  I know, I know.  If it makes you feel any better, I promptly got the stuff all over my hands, and had to scrub in the sink for over five minutes to make sure I hadn't given myself lethal metal poisoning.  Also, I think I have painted a couple of blotches on the front porch ... well, it needs pressure-washing before we put the house on the market, anyway.  It'll need at least two more coats, and then of course I'll need to collapse it and paint the bits immediately under the seat.

If the cane still operates after the paint is applied and dry, this project can go forward; if not, we're back to the chair-in-bag plan!

Once that's done, I've got a lovely autumn-leaf table runner that I picked up at Unclaimed Baggage for a couple of bucks; since I can't sew worth much, and [livejournal.com profile] wookieegunner's sewing machine hates me enough to ruin any cloth I hand him, I'm going to get a pre-made small pillow somewhere and attach the table runner over it.  It seems like a project that wouldn't take a competent sewing-crafter twenty minutes, so I figure it'll take me a couple of hours while I sit and watch Castle and Leverage.  I can use leftover bits to make that pad for the handle, and while I'm on the handle, I should attach the jimmied arm for the fan; the goal is to be able to set up the fan so that it'll blow more-or-less toward my neck while I'm seated.

Eighteen days to Con!  Aaaaaaah!


jarissa: (Default)
Using finger-weaving (instructions available at WikiHow) I made a bandolier-length badge lanyard, attaching almost all of my old convention badges.  I think one of the two years I went to MidSouthCon is missing.  It's very lightweight, and so far seems to hold up to mild stress tests.

It took me about fifteen minutes to make, not counting a few brief interruptions; since the badges vary in length, I didn't pay much attention to how far I skipped along before sliding the next badge into place.  The most recent badge is shown hanging at the top, going down to 2002 (our first year, according to [livejournal.com profile] wookieegunner 's much more precise memory), but with a little jiggling it seems to be easily reversible.

After the end of Con this year, I'll probably attach the 2009 badge permanently to the top before I tie it irrevocably shut.  Future badges will have to be attached by tying them into place with much shorter lengths of yarn, whatever color may happen to come handy.  It's not particularly pretty, but it's serviceable and it keeps my collection together, in a somewhat useful configuration, easily pinned to the noteboard in my room upstairs.

Closeup view:

Last year's badge needed some clear packing tape reinforcement -- it lasted through Con with no problem, got home safely, and then tore as I was gathering the badges together for this project.  The Director has already said that she's gotten thicker badges this year, so we might indulge in a bit of packing tape "lamination" just for extra security, but I doubt it'll be necessary.

jarissa: (Default)
I'm not a visually memorable person -- brown eyes, five and a half feet tall, overweight, longish hair -- so I'm more likely to be recognized at Dragon*Con as "that one broad who was wearing the ...."

(Caveat:  I turn invisible when cameras activate.  Almost never am I spotted on film!)

I can about guarantee that no one at D*C will be wearing anything quite like me this year: better, sure; more impressive, absolutely; but I know I'm a Special Snowflake this time around because I'm designing and making some of my own stuff, following the venerable school of "Let's see what happens if I do THIS!" costume design.

Today I'm sick of sewing, so I'll talk about what I'm sewing, instead:  a variation on Fingerless Gloves.

Ooo, a cut would be a nice thing to do. )
What do you think?  Too ornate already?  Needs more floof?


jarissa: (Default)

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