One trick-or-treater. Dressed in a sort of I’m-not-really-into-this vague black scalloped thing costume.

I guess I’ll have to eat this whole bowl of Nerds and Reeses cups all by myself.

Darn.

It occurs to me that I’ve been shamefully remiss in mentioning Halloween this year, particularly costumes.

Mine was not impressive. I just dug out and laundered my old iaido gear, found my practice sword, and went as a samurai. I was mildly worried that it wouldn’t fit, since it’s been a coupla years, but frankly, the gear is designed for middle-aged men sporting what we will tactfully call the budo belly, so if I couldn’t fit it and still have room in my pants to smuggle a mule, there would be some real health issues goin’ on. The downside to it is that my waist is extremely short at the best of times–not thick, per se, there’s a definite dip, but the clearance between ribs and hips, for whatever genetic reason, is pretty low. Put on a hakama and gi top, and you’re looking at about fifteen feet worth of ties and belts that all fasten around the waist, leaving me unable to shake the feeling that I look like the samurai equivalent of the nerd with the pants pulled up to their nipples. (Possibly the only outfit in creation that actually looks better on someone with a beer gut. The Japanese always were innovative.)

James, however, had the cool costume. He was going as a monk, had a brainstorm, turned to me, and said “I want to be one of your gearworld characters!”

I said “…wha?”

“You know! The monk ones with the checkerboard and the bells!”

“Oh…wow…okay…”

So thanks to the sewing talents of our buddy Leonor, who will take art for costuming, James now has a very cool gearworld monk outfit–brown robes, long belled hood with knee-length hanging bells in front, checked belt, and as the final touch, a stuffed goldfish handpuppet. Leonor did a fabulous job. Ironically, someone had just asked me for permission to do a gearworld hood outfit, and I hadn’t been very much help because I couldn’t really envision how it would go. Leonor on the other hand looked at two paintings, got out the scissors, and say “Alright let’s do this!” and turned out a really nice costume. So my hat is off, and now I gotta do a brown-robed gearworld character so that it fits the canon. *grin*

On the downside, since I’m pretty obscure, only one person knew what the heck James was. But maybe someday!

Now we just gotta find a fursuit maker who takes art in trade, and we can get James a white donkey head and hands to go inside the suit, and…

The Dark Side of the Digital Force

My buddy Carlota loaned me her tablet PC for a day or two to try it out. James and I had been talking about getting a cheap laptop for conventions–lugging my full machine is a pain in the ass if we’re driving, and impossible if we’re flying–but I hadn’t even considered a tablet PC, because…y’know. I didn’t think they’d hit the key combination of cheap and good yet that I’d require.

So I borrowed it, installed Painter on it, and…I’m being seduced.

There are a few drawbacks. The screen is miniscule compared to the machine I’m typing this on, and having to click open the virtual keyboard to type is akin to having to enter your name in an arcade machine. Since there’s no keyboard, there are no keyboard shortcuts, requiring a slight readjustment of my normal workflow.

On t’other hand, megascribble was MADE for that kinda thing–I wouldn’t want to do actual fine work on it, but as a sketchpad that would allow me to do portable megascribble (which I’m infinitely more comfortable with than pencil) it’s calling me with its evil siren song.

Downside–close to twice what I was planning on spending for such a device. Being able to sketch in my chosen form while laying on the couch is tempting, but probably not worth the money. Upside, if a coupla hanging art payments for originals come in, that’d mostly cover it.

The real test will come tomorrow. Tomorrow I will lug it out to the Triangle Metro Zoo (which claims they’ll be open) which appears to be a Discount Lion Safari kinda place, but that’s all I need. We’ll see if I can sketch at the zoo with the thing.

If I can…well…that’d be something all right…

I am surprisingly unworried about the Osama video. And I’ll tell you why.

We’re too polarized already. The trenches are dug too deep. Sure, there are probably some people–who ought to be bloody well ashamed of themselves–changing their mind on the word of a terrorist. That’s the sort of thing I consider “letting the terrorists win,” no matter which way your mind changes. You oughta be ashamed.

But I’m not all that worried. Mildly disgusted at the notion, but not really worried. Anybody dumb enough to say “Osama doesn’t like Bush, so we HAVE to elect him!” either already had their mind made up or is behaving in a manner so antithetical to being an American that I would much rather have them on the other side anyway. (They had also better not own guns, since by all accounts, Osama’s a gun owner, and once you’re determined to be that pigheadedly wrong, you better take it all the way to the logical conclusion. And while you’re at it, Hitler liked dogs, so if you own a dog you’re a Nazi. And Stalin was really opposed to abortion, too, so anybody using that logic better be voting pro-choice, while we’re on the subject of Doing Stuff In An Attempt To Spite The Bad Guys.)

It may shift a very few people. Sure. And it doesn’t take all that many, god knows, but still, eh. Bill O’Reilly and his ilk can yell as loud as he wants–if you’re taking him seriously, you’re already voting a certain way. Everyone who could be swayed has swayed. This election is, I think, no longer defined by who undecided people are voting for, but by how many people are voting at all.

Had he captured Osama, that might have been a different story–that would’ve been admittedly impressive–but I just don’t see it mattering enough–any benefit from the sort of asinine “He hates Bush! We must do the opposite!” attitude is likely to be canceled out by “Hey, Osama’s still out there! Some war on terror, jackass!” effect. If you’re paying attention, you’ve made up your mind, and if you aren’t, this is one more thing not to pay attention to.

Now, I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be first time. Hell, according to the polls, being a woman who isn’t worried about terrorism makes me a freak of nature. (I chalk this up to good basic math skills. I know that I’m more likely to be struck by lightning than blown up.) But I’m still guessing that it’s not gonna sway things enough to matter.

Also, now that it’s conclusively proved that they don’t have Osama on ice, I b’lieve James owes me five bucks.

In case anybody missed it, Zogby, of the famed Zogby polls, was on the Daily Show last night, and said if he had to bet, he thinks the election will go for Kerry. Bush simply doesn’t have good enough numbers for an incumbent at this point, since the undecideds and new registers tend to break against the incumbent.

I’m trying not to even hope, because the horror of four more years would be bad enough without adding crushed hope, and of course the polls have been wiggly as fish in syrup on this race, and for any poll anybody can pull up, there is an equal and opposite pull, and of course everybody will claim THEIRS is non-partisan (i.e. agrees with them) and so forth, but nevertheless, despite my best efforts, in my heart of hearts there is a tiny gleam that says ohgodletitbetrueohpleaseohplease…

I’m in a lousy mood today.

My gums have formed nasty hard raw ridges which have pulled away from the offending tooth (and the ones around it, because hey, why not?) and feel like raw hamburger. I’m in pain. I can’t take any serious drugs because I have to run errands, and y’know, “Do not operate heavy machinery.” People are hounding me for changes to art that I would have been happy to do weeks ago, but can’t possibly do now. D&D, which I was really looking forward to this week, since it’s been fairly unmitigatedly crappy otherwise, just got cancelled. I have too much to do, no time to do it, and my jaw feels like gnomes wearing cheese grater snowshoes are dancing across it.

I hate the three people who zipped past me while I was trying to pull out of a parking spot, requiring three seperate brake slammings. I wish nonspecific harm to all of them, although if I’m given the option, something involving an enraged badger wedged under the brake pedal sounds kinda cool.

I’m sick of the bloody election. I can’t even look forward to it being over, because nobody knows when it’ll be over. It’s like being trapped in a Sartre play. I don’t believe it’ll ever end. Simultaneously, I also believe it’ll be over in one day, because remember how worked up we all got about Y2K? I wish everybody in politics would be eaten by zombie allosaurs. I hate the GOP for complaining that trying to get minorities to vote is a waste of tax payer dollars, the DFL for undoubtedly engaging in some sort of fraud somewhere, thus depriving me of the moral high ground, and Nader for being a barking election-killing lunatic that makes me ashamed of that time I voted Green. I hate the Liberatarians for being insane, thus depriving me of even that slim appreciation. I hate everybody. We all suck. I’d move to New Zealand but I can’t afford it, and anyway it’d be chicken.

I know, I know. My natural ebulliance will out eventually, and I’ll realize the absurdity of sitting here gritting my teeth (carefully) and twitching, and I’ll be cheerful and philosophical. It’s inevitable. I’m too bloody happy a person.

But right now I’m in a foul mood, and goddamnit, I’m gonna enjoy it.

*sulk*

Okay, about these missing explosives.

I don’t know squat about them. I’m not gonna automatically assume that it was some hideous failure by Bush–Bush has enough hideous failures in my book that I don’t feel the need to go looking for new ones. The man’s a goob. Kerry could publically commit necrobeastiality with dead puppies and I still wouldn’t vote for Bush. (I might consider going Libertarian, in that case, mind you, but let’s just establish as a ground rule here that my loathing of Bush is not up for grabs and move on.) I don’t need more reasons to detest Bush–I have a vast and lovingly polished array–so I don’t really care if the explosives are directly his fault or not. I’ve maxed out my detestation–one more or less isn’t gonna matter. In a weird sort of way, I’m so far gone into despising him that I’m willing to be open minded on this one, because I don’t NEED any more reasons.

And hey, wars are weird. Maybe it’s entirely possible that 300 tons of explosive could grow legs and nobody’d notice. What do I know? I’ve never been in a war. I can spend twenty minutes looking for my car keys when they’re actually in my hand, I got nothin’ to call anybody on, particularly if a really pissed off local insurgency is shooting at them.

But this I don’t understand.
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I just woke up from the most bizarre dream…

Most of it was this kind of twisted Willy Wonka thing–some guy running this creepy place that was supposed to be paradise for kids and…well…wasn’t. Except in the dream I was a boy (maybe twelve or thirteen) and couldn’t see that, but somewhere else in my brain, I was going “THIS IS FRICKIN’ CREEPY!”
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Yet Another Slice of Life

James: “Did you get that link about platypus…es…platy…platypus I sent you from work?”

Me: “No.”

James: “Really? It was about how they have like thirty chromosomes that determine their sex.”

Me: “Neat! Where was it?”

James (dithering): “Uh…lemmee think…uh…maybe…no…uh…maybe…uh…try…”

Me (oblivious as usual): “Look, I’ll just google “platypus sex”…there we go…”

*pause*

Me: “Man, we really just dodged a bullet on that one, didn’t we?”

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996568

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