A Faire Season

The weather is warming up, the birds are singing their birdy songs, and I am trying to pack my basket for tomorrow.

That’s right, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire is upon us!

This year I will not be found at Braids for Maids (unless I am visiting, which is likely at times), but instead at the Money Changers (Ancient Coins) booth. There was nothing wrong at Braids, it is very a “me” situation where I was finding my drive for doing good work on behalf of my friend and booth owner was causing me more stress than Faire was relieving for me. As I get older, and since there’s no camping, I’m finding I have to be more careful with what I demand of myself.

So a good friend commented last year that his booth could probably use a “booth babe” – utterly in jest since my garb is pretty modest – and we worked it out! It is a very relaxed environment compared to the bustle of Braids, and I want to see if this makes a difference for me.

Modest, but still beautifully blue! Thanks to Ian T Henry for this great picture!

I’ll mainly be out on Saturdays (and School Day Friday the 12th of April) if you’re looking for me. Sundays, if I make it, will be with my spouse as play-days.

It’s a fun look back at the past, with ale, turkey legs, and plenty of fine shows and songs to help pass the day (between shopping expeditions, of course!) I’ve taken a year off in the past and was left feeling sad and like I was missing out, so I hope this new booth is the balance I need!

Feline Half-Life

Yesterday was my kitty’s sixth birthday!

A rare picture where Pixie is not glaring at the camera –
she doesn’t like having her picture taken!

This precious little beast is definitely my cat, for all the terror and trouble she can be as a little monster. She’s also purring affection and cuddles with me, sweet grooming of my toes, and snoozing on my bed (well, our bed – she believes it’s hers, too) day or night.

Which is why it was a heart rending moment on her April 1st birthday that I came to realize I’ve already had half the time I am likely to have with her. What do I mean?

Cats, in my experience, live about 12 years. The numbers for a female indoor-only cat tends towards a higher number on paper (14 to 20) – but this is my first indoor-only cat so I tend to be a bit more pessimistic due to my indoor-outdoor model. At six, this means I can only honestly expect another six years with my spoiled baby kitty.

The future is uncertain. We could lose Pixie tomorrow. She could live to be a ripe old lady, beyond any of our expectations. Her recent decision to accept wet food – after disdaining it for five years – is good for her digestive system long term, but her chonky fat-cat nature is not great for the future. A little of column A, a bit of column B.

I do know that when I lose her, I’m going to be a wreck. This little furball has sunk her kitty-claws into my heart (as well as my arm last night) and is so special to me. Her antics bring me joy, even when she’s frustrating, and this is the first cat that is not someone else’s that I live with, or at best “the family cat”, but truly my kitty. I chose her, my spouse decreed she was mine, and she sold me on that over the years. So knowing that we’re moving towards the second half of that period was sobering.

Yet is also made the day more special, in a bittersweet way. We are the life she knows, and she seems to be a happy cat with that.

Except when I try to take her picture, especially after putting a flower on her.
Look at that glare!

What a Wonderful Con!

This year, in order to prioritize some other events, I couldn’t do the full weekend of WonderCon. But thanks to my dear spouse, it was agreed that one day would not break the bank (ha – he forgets the lures of the dealer’s hall!) and I could take Friday off work to cruise the con.

The Sunday before the event I decided I wanted to cosplay… something. So a quick brainstorm and I went from no costume to a femme Jack Harkness (of Doctor Who fame). Quick Target run, followed by a stop at Hollywood Suits for suspenders (the coat borrowed from the previously mentioned stellar spouse). Voila, the most dashing Time Agent that Torchwood has ever seen. Okay, I had to wait for the boots to arrive from Amazon, but it was almost a one day cosplay!

You can call me the Face of Boe…

With the time off request in, the costume assembled, and the paperwork to get my pass in hand, I was off!

As always I got there way too early on a Friday, so I decided the air conditioning in the lines was not strong enough for the coat, and outside I was getting occasional breezes, so I spent a couple hours admiring the cosplay displays! It’s one of my favorite parts of any convention. My fears that nobody would recognize good old Captain Jack were – as always – unfounded. Especially with the coat on, which meant it was staying on for the day. Toasty!

The dealer’s hall opened earlier than I expected, so before noon I was cruising the temptation chamber. An urgent text message home kept me from spending over $200 on exclusive and awesome (but too expensive) dice. I promised myself no spending until I’d walked the full hall… and I almost made it. Alas, +3 to Charisma had some outstanding dice boxes, one of which had a sparkly interior and was their last in stock… I couldn’t help it.

Then the floodgates were, okay, not entirely open but at least the funds were flowing a bit. I did splurge on a dress from Hero Within – it’s supposed to be Wonder Woman but read Captain Marvel to me! My only other really big spend was a print from Echo Chernik – she and I had some great conversations and I couldn’t resist her stunning piece called ‘The Choker‘ depicting one powerful princess in a desert slave situation… in a special limited edition that I still have yet to figure out where I am hanging it!

I set myself the challenge of collecting pictures of my Captain Harkness with as many Doctors as I could find – not just of the Who variety of course! So while I don’t have links and can’t share most of them, I have a wealth of Doctors – including Strange, Quinzel, Hammond, Jones, and so many more!

But at the end of the day, I found one of my favorite Doctors of the day… Damsel Cosplay AKA my friend Lacey as the 13th Doctor!

Anything Doc can do, Jack (or Jaqueline as the case may be) can do better, right?

I didn’t hit any panels, but it was a great day of Con Solo, meeting wonderful new people, taking pictures of cosplay I loved, having a silly and WonderConful time among my kind of people!

Escort Mission

The other day I was visiting a friend, while we talked and did some D&D character work. Chill Sunday night kind of thing.

He got a phone call, so I was taking it easy when I started to hear the muffled meows of one of this cats (specifically the one that is terrible at cat-like behaviors and often prone to doing something he can’t get out of). So, being the sucker for a cat in distress that I am, I start looking for the source. My friend has me check the nearby rooms with closed doors, as he can hear it too. No cat.

The call ends and the friend heads to the other end of the house to check some other areas a cat could get stuck, and I realize the meow may be coming through a window. So I step outside and walk around the exterior to the driveway.

To find this little black cat I was looking for, staring up at the window to the room we were in, only two turns and a few feet from the door he used to leave the domicile, making the saddest pity-mews you could imagine. He had gotten lost just past his own door, and when I appeared – as a human he recognized – I was the greatest savior ever.

So the cat rushes over to me with relief and lets me guide him the ten feet around the corner back to the walkway home. And in his joy this cat, who as I mentioned does not do cat-things, starts nuzzling my ankles in sheer abandonment, winding around my feet in the most feline way possible. Because I “walked him home”. My friend comes out just in time to see this and is utterly confused, because he goes on to confirm that he has never seen this cat behave in this manner. Getting lost, sure – easy enough. Affection in nuzzles, never.

I realized then that I had just performed a WoW-level of escort mission… find NPC in unreasonable distress over a rather short-sighted situation, walk at a halting pace back to safety, and then receive rewards that are not even remotely connected to the amount of effort that was or was not expended.

Side Effects

For work today I’m developing an article about the stigma around mental illness as part of my bi-weekly cultural newsletter.

Did you know writing about your personal brain weasels and the issues around them is bait for the little demons? Today I Learned!

It’s not a guaranteed fall to them, but I can feel that part of me ramping up slowly. I promised someone I would write this, to help him deal with the stigma he faces regularly, so I’m going to finish it – I’m down to the editing now. Even so, I have to watch myself in the period that follows, make sure that I stay stable.

Oh Captain, My Captain… Marvel

No major spoilers, but I have to share some of my thoughts about the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie Captain Marvel.

Veers, our protagonist, starts the movie in the same uniform as everyone else. It’s form fitting, but so is the uniform the men wear, and we see this is a practical choice when you are designing an aerodynamic space suit / super hero costume. The colors, the cut, across the board the women (even our hero) wear exactly what the men do, and it’s not sexualized at all.

Wait, since when does a woman in a super hero movie not have to wear a sexualized costume?

Oh, and no heels. That’s right, flat boots for running and kicking ass. Practical, useful boots.

And here’s where we get to a mild spoiler….

Look away…

You’ve been warned…

The one (and only) time she is objectified or hit on is when she’s told to smile by a random dude… so she just shuts the guy down, nice and neat, and moves on. (Well, then steals his motorcycle, to boot) That’s it. Over 2 hours of time spent with our Captain, and while she deals with a lot because of her gender, yet it’s not turning her into a sexual trope at any point.

She’s smart, crafty, clever, witty, and yes… physically attractive. But over all through the entire film… it’s not about her body. She gets to shatter the glass ceiling at mach two, and nary a boob-shot to be seen!

Be still my beating heart, Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers, is a utter bad ass woman, without the T&A comics have so come to embrace as needed to make female heroes appealing.

Thank you, Marvel.

Too true meme…

Image may contain: 1 person

I must admit, a part of me now hopes Enjee (my slightly insane skittermander in our Starfinder game) finally gets back to Absalom Station to meet with her therapist… and it’s revealed that it’s actually a Space Goblin. And more of me hopes that’s not the case at all.

Gender Bender

Yesterday was International Women’s Day – so I went to work and saw some great talks from the women of my company, got a lot done in the office in prep for a desk move and work travel next week. Adding to it was the fact that my period started, so I wasn’t feeling top-notch all day. Traffic was terrible getting home, and I was exhausted by the time I got off the road.

But the greatest thing greeted me when I walked in the door. My spouse, my male spouse, was wearing a frilly apron in the kitchen, holding out a martini, and asked me “How was your day, honey?” in his best 1950’s housewife tone.

I cracked up. Just what I needed in that moment, after that day. I went upstairs to change into comfy clothes and unintentionally redoubled the stereotype by grabbing a white tank top to go with my pajama pants.

So after martinis was french onion soup, steam asparagus with hollandaise, and medium rare steak. And red wine, of course, we are civilized after all! But a very classic meat-and-potatoes well made dinner (minus the potatoes because of me being diabetic) to celebrate the day.

It was a fantastic moment to celebrate how standard we can be in our non-standard roles.

Impossible World

I’ve written before about “geek chic” and how odd it is that my life-long fandoms are now haute couture. I love it! It’s still weird.

So today the gang over at Critical Role (a few of whom are friends of mine) launched a Kickstarter today to fund an animated special featuring the characters from their first campaign. I knew it would fund quickly, I know animation is expensive so the bar was going to be high, and I was still surprised and how epic and quickly it blew right through it’s goals.

You can check it out here if you’re curious (it’s going through April 18th). In less than 45 minutes they went from launch to funded – with a goal of $750,000 USD. But inside of that first hour, they had already hit their first stretch goal of a million. I went to lunch and found that the next stretch goal of $1.5 million was blown through. It seems to be slowing finally (barely) and they are still climbing towards the next goal of $2 million.

It’s a delightful feeling to, first of all, have enough disposable income that I can use my adult discretion to throw money at something awesome like this – I went with the $100 level of dice and cards, because the pins and Trinket plush didn’t interest me and I couldn’t justify $400 for the messenger bag that did. To be stable enough to say “Hey, that thing my friends do is getting bigger, let me throw money at it and get some cool loot that I don’t genuinely need.” Second, to see D&D, in the form of Critical Role, so pervasive in our culture. Not just geek culture, but our general western culture, since there have been billboards and events around the world, it seems they are household names in ways I could never have expected. And last but not least, that people are willing to spend so much of their own disposable income into something like this – people who don’t know anyone on the show. The willingness to invest what they can and see what turns up!

So congrats, CR team – this is pretty great. Keep on doing these beautiful things so we can keep sharing them with you!

Accidental Looks

So this morning I was in a rush to get ready – I grabbed a dress with pockets. Mint green, pretty cute, a-line. But it’s cold, so I grabbed my Faerie Lace leggings from Bombsheller/Espionage (you can find them here).

Dress is an old Modcloth staple

Then, it was makeup time – light eyeliner and a chance to use my new eyeshadow from Espionage, the Mystic Quest (here)! But I had new hairsticks, too! Okay, time for a bun…

Oops, all of a sudden I went from sleepy to… Tinkerbell?