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Showing posts from March, 2015

Saturday Serial: Captain America #5

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I have noticed something about the Muslim ladies in Boston. One is that they can walk around downtown without being honked at by rednecks. This reinforces my feeling that I have moved to the correct part of the country. I used to wear a scarf wrapped like a hijab in Flagstaff to keep the snow off of my hair, and I got a billion times more asshole attention on the street than I ever did when wearing a micro-mini sundress.

Two, they somehow manage to find clothing that fits them properly. I am awash in a sea of people who have no idea how anything is supposed to fit and guess with questionable success, and yet the ladies in headscarves are wearing pants that do not drag on the ground, and shirts whose shoulder seams sit correctly, that don't end three inches too early when you happen to have boobs.

I figured out through experimentation that it is culturally acceptable to tell them you like their hijab -- they take it about like 'I like your hat' -- but I never have asked any…
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You all may have noticed that I am a sucker for police procedurals on TV. They're basically the only thing I care enough to watch all the way through. Jazmin and I are watching Cold Case -- to be strictly accurate, I'm watching Cold Case, she's sitting here tolerating my terrible taste in television and remarking occasionally on the music choices.

I refuse to feel bad for digging up this series online. The gimmick is that the flashbacks of what happened during all of the cold cases they work on are presented in period-accurate fashion. Cases in the 1970s are rusty red, mimicking the bias of television cameras of the day. Cases from the 1950s are shot to look like film, some pieces like 16mm home movies. One case from the mid-1980s has chroma separation errors, as if shot on a primitive camcorder. A much more recent case has flashbacks that reek of crap cell phone video. The costumes are accurate. The settings are beautiful. The dialogue is surprisingly accurate.

And all of…
Well, that was over quickly. I got to my first trial day as a magician's assistant and discovered that he thought he was going to start my training by locking me into a cabinet I'd never seen before and letting me find my own way out (no), and that he thought that not only was he allowed to paw me whenever he wanted without my leave, but that it was necessary for a working relationships (hell no).

So, no, I do not work for a magician now. At least not that one.

On the other hand, I did confirm that my working knowledge of stage magic is still fine. He sent me off to watch David Copperfield's "Origami" trick, which I'd never seen before, and tell him how it worked. Evidently he was amazed at how simple it was when he saw the plans for it, once upon a time. It didn't look that complicated to me in the first place. Anyone else has a guess, feel free to leave it in the comments. The YouTube resolution is crap and doesn't help, but you can figure it out wi…
I appear to have a new job. Or, at least, a trial period at a new job. One of my friends mentioned that she knew a magician looking for a new assistant, oh hey you're a dancer do you fit the height restrictions? Yeah, sure, that sounds pretty cool. I'll give it a shot, let's set up a phone call and see what happens.

Next thing I know, I'm hired. Sight unseen. I had to send photos after the interview; he'd somehow got the idea that I was a blonde.

People keep doing that. Booking me for jobs -- including performance gigs and public-facing reception positions -- without ever seeing me in person. This weirds me out to no end. What the hell do I sound like over the phone that fills people with this bizarre confidence that I am clearly well-qualified for whatever work they want me to do, even though they have never met me before and have never seen me do any of the things they're asking? I could look like a shar-pei and trip over my own feet on a constant basis, for …

Saturday Serial: Captain America #4

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Okay, so, I'm not dead. I've just been extraordinarily busy lately.

I've just finished costuming for the Post-Meridian Radio Players spring production. I know that 'costuming for radio' sounds like the kind of job they give you when they like you but are afraid you'll hurt yourself running out to get a bucket of prop wash and a box of grid squares, but I promise you, it's for real. I'm particularly proud of the costumes for The Mysterious Traveler, starring Austen Wright as The Woman, Michael Lin as The Gentleman, and Joev Dubach as The Thief, with Dave Baker and Naomi Hinchen on Foley. The Woman's costume was one of the few custom pieces in the show, for reasons that will be obvious if you are local enough to come see it in action. The hat has a matching decoration on the side facing away from camera, because anyone in a piece involving a theft by the gentilhomme cambrioleur Arsène Lupin must, by definition, look well put-together.

Not visible are …

Unannounced Nerd Project Materials 2/?

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Ladies light utility boots, size 6.5 black/dark brown

Saturday Serial: Captain America #3

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Unannounced Nerd Project Materials 1/?

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Resin cast replica prop Gerber Mark II combat knife

Saturday Serial: Captain America #2

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I have a running list of conversations that I have a lot that I suspect other people don't.

There's "I think you're probably well into the gifted/genius range, and yes I do think I'm qualified to make that judgement call."

There's  "I can't tell you how many languages I 'speak' until you tell me what level of proficiency I need in order to qualify for 'speaking'." And the related one where I tell someone I don't speak their language in their language, which doesn't work.

There's the one where I demonstrate some sort of competence in math/science/medicine in public and then have to explain that, according to my diploma, I'm a sociologist.

That's often followed by, "Then what are you doing here?" Which happens because nobody thinks their own job is glamorous, and they are for some reason under the impression that I ought to be elsewhere doing something 'better'.

A couple of weeks ago I had …
"Rats are so hard. I miss mine, but not the having to say goodbye so often."  -- Squeaky

The brevity of a rat's life is not easy on their Mommy, but I tried not having rats for a few months, and it did not go well.  I discovered a long time ago that if I feel lousy and I'm the only one who would be screwed over by my inaction, I don't get out of bed. If I feel fine I'll go do things, and if other people are counting on me I'll do some -- although not necessarily all -- of the things I have slated, but just me? Fuck it, moving is not worth it, I'm going back to sleep.

Rats are nom-oriented like dogs and obstreperous like cats. They won't let you not feed them. They live in a big metal box and can make a truly astonishing amount of noise when they put their minds to it. Mine are spoiled rotten and have no idea what starvation actually feels like, so they think if their bowl is empty, that means they're hungry. The fact that they have emptied it …

Bye-bye, Binky.

Binky's gone.

I went to check up on them yesterday, and Bianca -- the rat who dodges everything, who flails when picked up, who hates being held -- wobbled up to the front of the cage, climbed my arm, and refused all attempts to put her back into her box.

That's usually what happens at the end. Unstoppable independent rats suddenly get cuddly, cuddly rats become one with the inside of your shirt. Binky slept on me for a few hours, out in the living room.

I called out of rehearsal last night and work today. Binky survived the night but clearly was not thrilled about it, so I took her into the MSPCA. It crossed my mind to wonder if I could walk her down to Angell from here, and spare her the train ride. She hated the Orange line. Regretfully, I concluded there was still too much snow between here and JP to manage it. I would have done it, in nicer weather.

I gave her Tylenol, in case she hurt, and Benadryl, so she would be too sedated to panic.

When I got there, they let me back…
I realize that some of the stuff I write on this blog makes me sound like either a lunatic or a superhero. Monitor whine, UV glare, pitch discrimination, microexpressions, etc. I am definitely not superhuman, and if I am a nutcase, I don't think this is the evidence you need to prove it.

What I am talking about here are a lot of edge cases. All of this stuff is overtly perceptible to some subset of perfectly normal human beings, and probably there is a larger subset for which the sensory input exists, but is below the threshold of conscious perception. They'd know that some whites in sunlight were extra-glarey but probably wouldn't describe them as going purplish, and a room full of CRT whine or diesel idle would feel stressful but they would not be able to tell you why. Liars look hinky, but what makes 'hinky' different from 'not-hinky' is a mystery.

My actual mutant superpower is a chronic inability to stop paying attention to this shit. I phrase it that …
Can you spot the snipers hidden in these photos?

About half of them, my eye landed on them first thing. They were ridiculously easy. I couldn't tell you why the spot was wrong, just that it was. The other half, I couldn't find if my life depended on it, as I suppose it would if I got mixed up in anything that involved snipers lying in wait.

I have no idea if I got the half I did because I'm observant or because I'm a mutant. Possibly both. My mother's father ended up fixing radios and jeeps for the Army Air Corps instead of flying planes because he was deuteranopic, commonly known as 'red-green colorblind'. I'm told that the infantry informally used colorblind soldiers to spot stuff stashed in jungles and woods; I don't know if they still do, or if that would even work in a rocky beige desert. Turns out that when your brain isn't distracted by all those greens, cammo net stands out like a sore thumb.

About 1% of all men are red-green colorblind.…