Showing posts from October, 2012
Once again, the weather service predicted Armageddon, and nothing happened to me. We had full power and comms the entire time. I spent most of the day on Twitter reading about how Manhattan is pretty much toast -- or, rather, soup. The death toll seems strikingly low for such a widespread storm, and I hope it stays that way.

It's still windy enough here that you'd have to be fairly stupid to go out for a stroll, but there's no serious flooding to speak of, at least in my neighborhood. We'll all get up tomorrow morning and find leaves lodged in parts of the house where leaves should never go, but we can all have nice hot showers after we've finished clearing them.
The exciting part being over, I'm going to bed.

Hurricane Checklist

Booze. David left me some Bacardi in the liquor cabinet. Lemonade and cherry limeade mixers available. Also about a third of a bottle of Maneschewitz, although I think not even a hurricane would make me desperate enough to drink alcoholic blackcurrant syrup. Blech.Drugs. Generic 200mg caffeine tablets. Bottle of Aleve. Enough Benadryl to sedate an elephant. Probably have decongestant and DayQuil hanging around from the last nasty cold. Know from previous experience with being snowbound in Flagstaff that I am perfectly capable of sleeping through the aftermath of weather disasters if boredom reaches life-threatening levels.Food. Plenty of rat pastas. Oatmeal available; tastes appalling but can be prepared by just dumping it in a bowl with the rest of the milk, which would eventually go off if our power went out anyway. Miscellaneous junk. The roommate who grew up in Alaska and knows about such things says the stove has an electric pilot, but can be lit just fine by hand.Water. Filled a…
So apparently it's Hurricane Day again, that magical time of year when New Englanders go out of their skulls and swarm out to buy random shit at CVS, because storm surges are going to wipe Cheeetos off the face of the planet or something? I don't know.

At any rate, while the coastline is in some considerable danger of flooding and property damage from Virginia up through Long Island Sound, nothing in particular is going to happen to me. As difficult as it is for me to remember sometimes, I actually live several hours north of New York City now. A lot of air traffic has been cancelled and the airport is under flood warnings -- and if that worries you, I'd like to point out that Logan is on an island in the bay, and that one of the main runways goes very nearly right to the edge of the water. It's a miracle the place doesn't flood every time someone fumbles their bag over the side of the ferry.

I have completed my Formal Hurricane Preparedness Preparation, by which I…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Viennese Strangler"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Bail Bond Caper"

Box 13 - "The Great Torino"

More administrivia!

Halloo, loyal readers! (Or disloyal readers, or occasional readers, or people who have inexplicably stumbled onto this page by accident looking for pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch -- how many tumblrs do you have to go through to get down to my blog? Yowza.) I have continued to be a bit busy as of late, but at least some of it has resulted in fun news to share.

One particularly cool bit is that Doll Hart, the designer I was modeling for at the RAW Provocations runway show, has been voted into the semi-finals for the RAWards in November. I don't know if I'll be in the show this time -- Doll has just been informed that she's only allowed three models for her showcase this time, and has temporarily ground to a gibbering halt over the need to rethink her everything -- but some of the results of the Provocations show can be seen here. Current plans have me walking in a different show wearing a variation of this: you can see that if Doll perhaps lacks for time on this go-r…
Sometimes I wonder what the hell I'm doing with my life. Then I get a Facebook comment from a photo studio intern whose primary function is "hair wizard" that uses the words 'anachronistically', 'trans-located' and 'Age of Enlightenment' in a syntactically-correct manner in a joke, and I wonder why I didn't shove all the important shit into a My Little Pony backpack and hitchhike right the fuck back out here twenty-five years ago. Christ, but Arizona is a sucking hole in the face of civilization.

Living there has also left me woefully unprepared for New England in many ways, I've come to realize. For example, I haven't the foggiest fucking clue what to do about any natural disaster that doesn't involve venomous wildlife or being baked into a mummy by a cruel and uncaring sun. I have mad survival skills when it comes to shaking centipedes out of rarely-used shoes, and hauling one bottle of water per person her hour along like some s…
One of the rats did a weird thing the other day, so I decided to look it up online. It turned out to be not very important. The fat one was doing a sort of waggly-irritated-tail-shimmy, which I correctly guessed meant the same thing in rat as it does in cat: That the owner of the tail has been briefly but profoundly annoyed when, for example, he wants to move but one of his less-bright littermates is sitting firmly on his head.

Every time I go look up something rat-related, I am again bowled over by how complicated and pernickety people can get about this. There are guides, pages and pages long, that purport to tell you how the rat feels about you by interpreting every last little nuance of his body language.

Do people really have a problem figuring this out? I never did.

Rats, you see, are terrible physicists. They're still ambivalent about gravity. Had Sir Isaac Newton been a rat, his first priority would have been eating his way into the free apple that had just plummeted down …
Stephen Fry is one of those people to whom I am eternally tempted to send a lengthy, complicated letter, detailing exactly what I think of him and why. It's not quite as bad as it sounds -- usually the urge strikes when I start to get the feeling that someone is completely oblivious to some fundamental aspect of their personality that makes people like them. The problem is that there are really only two ways to react to getting mail like that from a complete stranger: to be charmed and deeply touched, if somewhat at a loss for what to say in response, or to lie awake at night wondering if it's time to put sturdier set of deadbolts on the front door. I generally go with Plan A when these things land in my inbox, which occasionally they do, but I haven't spent most of my adult life fending off people who saw me do something interesting once on the telly and now, fifteen years later, are thoughtfully sending me friendly warnings about the lizard people and handmade tinfoil ha…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Amateur Mendicant Society"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Gold Key Caper"

Box 13 - "Book of Poems"
Another bit of my interesting brain-weird has to do with glasses. I'm mildly nearsighted. Not very much -- just enough to annoy me. I can't see street signs at the end of the block and I lean in a few inches to use the computer. Normally I wear contact lenses, which are actually nineteen different kinds of awesome. I'm one of those lucky people who can tolerate extended-wear hydrogel contacts, which means that I get to stick them to the fronts of my eyeballs and then forget about them for a month at a time. Laypersons like to shriek in horror when I say that and try to tell my that my eyes are going to shrivel up and fall out, but I always have to specify that I want overnight lenses when I get a checkup because the doctor can't tell, so I'm thinking I'm doing okay.

Very rarely do I have any issues with this. I have more problems with dryness and weird sensations with them out, in fact; I've been wearing various kinds of bionic eyeballs since I was fourteen…
While I've been working and sewing and primping and occasionally feeding the rodents entire bananas because I like to see them pretend to be little cave-rats falling upon a whole dead mammoth in their savage hunger (not very well -- I should note here that if I don't pull some of the peel off the banana, it takes them a good long while to scrape together the motivation to chew their way into it), I've had a constant stream of stuff running on YouTube.

Most of it has been a British show called QI. QI is technically what's known as a panel quiz -- these are not much seen on American TV anymore, although they were popular on the radio in the 1940s and 50s. The object is not so much to know everything and be right, as it is to share random information and be hilarious. Hollywood Squares is probably the closest that's been on TV, although it's been off the air for a while, and in that case the celebrity squares got to be funny while the competitors were alarmingly s…
I went out to Worcester on Sunday for a giant group photoshoot. It was $20 at the door, so technically, this means I broke my rule against ever paying for pictures of me -- this is one of the reasons I don't owe eighty bajillion dollars to a booking agent somewhere for my comp cards. Of course, this also means I'm doing my comp cards myself, in GIMP. On the one hand, the photo printers at CVS are not very clear on the idea of consistent margins and seem to have no concept of color registration; on the other hand, nineteen cents a print, and if I email them to the store in Harvard Square I can pick them up about as fast as I can walk down there.

Being a philosophical sort -- and being someone who enjoys playing dress-up for no real reason -- I considered the $20 to be the entry fee for several hours of sociological observation, and went anyway.

I caught a ride with another one of the models from the RAW show who happens to live near one of the Red stations, and who was driving …
Photos from the show on Thursday night have started to come in. Hooray!

There were about nine thousand photographers hanging around, both backstage and on the floor. The relatively small proportion of photos posted to photos taken back (well, up) in the staging area seems strange until you realize that we had seventeen models, the other designer had about a dozen models, and the SFX makeup designer also had people wandering around somewhere. People who are doing theatrical things have long since learned to check their modesty at the door. Our group had a costume change partway through, complicated by a shortage of MUA/stylists which meant that when you were called to get your face painted, you went no matter what you were or weren't wearing -- which is to say, the 'togs are probably having to cull all the photos that ended up full of unintentional tits.

The Rubenesque Latex show did not involve any intentional tits either -- although someone else did, as you can see in Greg Ca…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Book of Tobit"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The One Hour Caper"

Box 13 - "Double Mothers"
Sorry for the radio silence, gang, but I've been doing about nine things at once for the past week. I try to keep things queued up, but I've been writing other stuff, piecing together a cocktail dress (by hand; I don't own a machine, because I think they're terrifying finger-eating contraptions which mostly enable me to bollix things up even faster than I normally would), booking shoots, working my "regular" job, and various and sundry other things, all to a constant backdrop of QI  on YouTube, which I will get around to explaining later.

Just as a reminder, I -- and a lot of other strange and highly attractive people -- will be appearing tonight at The Estate, 1 Boylston Place, in the RAW Provocations art show. I'm walking for a designer named Doll Hart who works in candy-colored latex; we have two other fashion shows running, several musicians, many photographers, one girl whose talent is listed as "circus performance", and someone who does so…
I keep trying to write up a profile of Martin Freeman, and it's been in the outbox for-absolutely-ever, because I keep getting distracted by laughing myself inside-out at what he does to chat show hosts who attempt to talk to him like he actually is Tim Canterbury. Ninety-eight percent of these things are titled "Martin Freeman being lovely!" and they're all completely correct; I also stand by my assessment that he's kinda pointy. The two are not mutually exclusive.

There are a few different ways to deal with it when someone -- say, Wossy -- insists on trying to spork you on national TV. One, of course, is to simply not dignify any of it with a response. It works on some people, but not well on others, and when it doesn't work it tends to encourage the sporkers to try harder. Another is to throw a hissy fit in return, decrying the behavior and demanding an apology. This is also pretty hit-or-miss, is not very funny, and usually gets you a reputation for being…

Further costuming nerdery!

Since I still haven't gotten the go-ahead from the other humans I want to show off, today I am going to brag about costuming rodents.

When I lived in Flagstaff, we had a cage of three rats. Well, we -- the tool-making symbolic language-using humans -- thought we had a cage of three rats. They were of the opinion that we had one rat, one rat, and one rat. Rats have a very toddler-esque, self-centered view of the world, which often leads to things like me knitting a hammock sized for one rat and hanging it in the cage, only to come back later and find all three of them piled into it. Each one had found it and thought, "Well, I'm only one rat, surely I will fit!" because of course the other two rats don't count.

(The same principle allows you to fit about a kilo of rat into a standard rectangular Kleenex box, but only if they like each other. Found that out in the vet's waiting room. The density of rat, if you're interested, is about 1.05g/cm3 at their norma…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Missing Bloodstains"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Bow Window Caper"

Box 13 - "Short Assignment"
It's that time of year again, when I brag about my costuming exploits. I was in Flagstaff for about a decade, and in that time, I ended up sort of the de factor designer for Halloween outfits -- various and sundry people helped with the manufacturing, but since for some reason I can apparently think in floppy wireframe, I was almost always the one who headed the charge around JoAnn Fabrics for patterns and textiles and notions.

One of my really terrible urges that I probably shouldn't confess to in public is the one where I keep wanting to use other people as walking dressforms. Moggie puts up with it, from time to time; she's fun to design for because she's built almost exactly like Agatha Heterodyne and gets happier and happier the more buttons and zippers and pockets you add. She also has endless patience for the part where we sit around drinking and talking about stupid things, and she wanders back and forth to the sewing machine whenever I finish pinning something…

A brief demonstration

I was wandering around Harvard the other night, mostly in celebration of being ambulatory enough to leave the house again. (Dragging myself to CVS like a snot-ridden zombie doesn't count.) I do that, from time to time, especially when I'm going stir-crazy -- after growing up in Phoenix, I find it very soothing to walk around where four hundred years of university have soaked into the ground.

I live about three miles off. It was dark by the time I got to the Yard, and I could see flashing lights through the trees. Three fire trucks were pulled up outside one of the buildings. I finished my loop of the green and wandered off down Mass Ave again.

It wasn't until I was walking away that I realized that this is probably the sort of sherlocky thing other people are curious about, and I might as well write it up.

By far the largest part of this superpower is just paying some fucking attention. Not walking smack into ladder trucks is a great start. The trucks themselves weren'…
For any of the Sherlock fans who also happen to be hanging around for my social psychology of the gifted and talented stuff, you may be interested to know that I think Benedict Cumberbatch has about eight million giveaway behaviors that say he's been so very smart from so very early on that he's never developed any good idea of normal. He spends a lot of time guessing what it is people expect from him, and judging by the quickness with which he apologizes when he startles someone, at this point he's rather resigned himself to getting it wrong.

Some of the confirmation is circumstantial. His native accent is from south-east London somewhere (for the linguists: non-rhotic, L-vocalization, intrusive Rs, Yod-coalescence, T-glottalizaton, but generally lacking th-fronting, H-dropping, or labiodental R, plus someone occasionally gets him to spit out a "gosh, luv" when he isn't nervous enough to suppress it -- it's urban Estuary) and it's probably terribly g…