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Jeff & I went to DragonCon again this year.  I mentioned last week, that we are only capable as going as who we are now, today, and we are both emotionally and physically tired from the changes that have happened in our house in the last month.

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It is still huge.  57,000 people registered this year, and doing single day sales on Saturday and Sunday.  Although  I didn’t seem many Saturday tags there were a lot of Sunday only folks.

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Saturday at the Hyatt in the morning (pre-parade) and the Marriott at 1:30 on Saturday.  Jeff & I had both been looking forward to the parade all year, but the staging call time and me liking total control over where I parked left him a bit …

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Some people were so stunningly beautiful and creative.  It is inspirational to be around people so deeply committed to being ready for weekends like these.  There is also a moment where I wonder about my Valid Card and making sure that I have it with me.  Jeff asked today if I was disappointed that nobody wanted to take OUR picture.  I said that sometimes I am, but that I believe that people like these two ladies should totally pull focus.

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We have fun thinking about costumes and I’m ok with being limited by my abilities.  I spend the time I choose to, and I end up with what we have.

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We look like this.

For panels and celebrity stuff we had a nice balance.  Jeff liked the puppetry stuff again this year, and we loved the Sunday morning science fair.  We learned the basic timeline for designing board games, and checked out the game room.

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We got pictures taken with Sir Patrick Stewart and some power Rangers.  I got a selfie taken with Vincent.  He was busy hugging me in apology for assuming Jeff wanted his picture (he didn’t).

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Last year there was some sexist ass-hattery that I didn’t encounter this year, and every volunteer that was staffing was stunning.

We don’t have to choose right now, which is good because we’re tired.  Maybe go in for the parade next year, but just to watch.  A day pass on Sunday.  Certainly a much larger awareness of who will be there.  It was good, it has been a good weekend – but like I suspected – I’m glad it is now a memory.

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(I will be talking specifically about Welcome To Night Vale, but I think it applies when you’re the only one around you that loves a Thing – no matter what that thing is).

I love a Thing. A podcast called Welcome To Night Vale, which is absurd and funny and touching. Cecil Baldwin, the primary voice on the show, gives Benedict Cumberbatch a run for his money just on the pure velvet of his voice.**

I am the only local person I know who loves WTNV, and I only tangentially know one other person who does. Hell, I can’t even get the people around me to give it a try.

The fact that I am goofball, geek master, RABID about this show and I don’t know anybody else who listens is – isolating.

The beauty of the internet is that in every town there can be one person that loves a Thing and collectively the Thing can be supported and can thrive. The internet provides all of these individuals a place to talk the Thing and how amazing it is. Kudos to the internet that it also happens where age, gender, expense of one’s shoes can all be glossed over for the love of The Thing.

The beauty of WTNV is that they were smart enough to take that shit on the ROAD.

I went by myself because this isn’t the kind of thing you can bring a virgin to; you’ve got to know what is happening. I dressed cute, but felt lousy and my energy and brainspace weren’t feeling very adventurous.

I had dinner at a diner across from the theatre and was completely surrounded by WTNV shirts, conversations about the finer point, and broad discussions of geek culture. (Where does WTNV fit in? with Whovians, and Cumberbitches, but with more video game knowledge than I have). It, by coincidence was near where Dragon*Con happens and so I already had a bit of geek stride because I sort of knew where I was-ish.

The show was general admission and because I went by myself, when the 5th row single center seat was not being saved I contemplated my bladder and shimmied by a dozen people. The first time there was audience yelling, and it was my turn, it felt like I was the general direction that Cecil chose to do that bit to. Which. Was. Wonderful. Even. If. I. Was Imagining. It.

Then, toward the end, there was the other bit the audience participated in. WTNV was CLEAR that saving the surprise for the show is important to them. It wasn’t spoiled for me and I won’t spoil it for others. WTNV is precious to me, I support it with my money and time, I support it with my relentless kicky-feet in public about it trying to get the right people to JUST LISTEN DAMNIT YOU’LL LOVE IT.

I think that they might know that it is isolating to be the one person you know who love a Thing. They came out on the road so I could sit in a theatre of other folks who know the references. They asked us to do a thing, and because they are My Thing, I did it. It helped a little.

It might be Pentatonix, it might be Pomplamoose, it might be 99% Invisible with Roman Mars, it might be Nerdfighting – but whatever your Thing is – when they come within driving distance, go fight off your isolation and get your geek on with them.

** He is, maybe, starting to vocal fry a little too much right now — but since I listen to him on headphones I also kind of don’t mind.

My husband teases me by saying, “yeah, but you don’t like science fiction”. Which, I said to him more than once in our earlier years together. Usually he says this when I’m in the fifth minute of flapping, hyperventilating, squeaking monologue about Billie Piper playing Rose playing Bad Wolf.

Or that most things I think about writing are prefaced with the phrase, “I like what John Scalzi says about this …”

Or that I listen to Welcome To Night Vale at all.

Readers here know of my twitching about Glee, and Amanda F*cking Palmer (new release today with her husband —TWIRL)

Paul McCann mentions [redacted] and brings a 20 year body of work into cannon in an instant. And breaks the internet. I complain about cannon and head-cannon [because head cannon is NOT A THING].

What does all of this do for a 40 year-old woman?

It makes me feel excited — excited like Santa Claus is REAL.
It focuses me outside of my immediate world.
It helps me remember that all of this is real – but it ain’t all serious all the time.
Doctor Who shows chivalry and goodness.
Glee flirts.
AFP is power and determination
WTNV actually turns words the way my mind does, and keys into the absurdist part of me that doesn’t get aired out much.

I like Slate’s Political Gabfest because it tunes me into the political world in a way that is comfortable.
I like Adam Savage’s Still Untitled podcast because DANG he is clever, creative, and friendly sounding.
I like Wil Wheaton because he is the voice of my part of my generation.

I’m already apoplectic about the Doctor Who special — and the sequence / prequel this morning just cemented me as a screaming crazed fangirl. Honestly, I really need to have lunch with someone (either in person or on the phone) who is totally willing to hyperventilate over all this stuff. I am so.damn.excited.

Right after I gave Ryan Murphy a pass for the next season and a half because he did such a nice job on the first three shows of Glee this season he … just f*cked it all up. No Klaine duet at insane-o-imaginary-Christmas is just dumb. Update — 5.5 —- sweet mercy. Glee = where continuity goes to DIE.

My mom, of all people, pointed out that I’m supper behind on TBBT and so that could use some remedy.

So much big stuff I’ve been working on, thinking through, experiencing. So much grace and magic in my life right now but for tonight I’m just feeling shouty about TV because … it is easier ((and I’ve been waiting for DW for ten months)).

Heh.

Just checked my categories. ALSO! The November 1 Welcome to Night Vale is the best they’ve done in six weeks or two months. Made me totally happy and the weather was terrific. Update — I may have to learn how to do some audio editing just to make a “Cecil’s best words” loop for myself.

And as for AFP … she wrote a song for the woman who saved us all for so many years. Wait for 2:38 and then HEAR that song.

Dragon*Con goes on for another day – but I’m out of it for this year.

Yesterday was mom & Jeff day (filled with awesome), and today was my celebrity birthday day.

No misogynistic / sexist dumbsh*t today (so that was nice). Also saw a lot of references to the idea that cosplay isn’t consent – including from Dragon*Con itself. I think in some ways the ruckus started by Scalzi and the co-sign post that came immediately after did a lot towards making that an open topic for comment. I will never really know for sure, because this was my first Con – but I do know that D*C made a BIG deal out of adding that “more clearly” to their policies post-Scalzi-post.

Onto the skills I learned today… the vendor stuff was in a totally separate building, which made choosing to shop VERY active and I like that a lot.

I like that accidentally I have figured out that I am WAY less likely to buy Stuff if I have gotten over my (badge night) t-shirt envy, and I’ve been surrounded by stunning, creative, craftsmanship for a day or two. The box (ordered from amazon to sell at D*C) doesn’t look so tempting, and if a t-shirt is clever I’ve seen it 20 times and don’t need it. If it isn’t clever … well, I don’t need it then either. Also a level of exhaustion to make me really consider if I want to carry it for four more hours helps too.

I had three celebrity pictures taken. I got four celebrity autographs. I’m glad I did both as it totally stripped me of any notion that being a celebrity at these things would be fun. It is appeared to be tough to (1) Not have anybody want to come up to you, (2) have such a huge line that you can ONLY churn out the work you are being paid for in that moment, or (3) to have people only be interested in the work you did 25 years ago. It looked exhausting, and soul churning.

All of that being said, Ed Asner made me burst into tears, Peter Davison was lovely, George Takei was as awesome as you would hope for, and John Barrowman is just a complete f*cking delight. Hell even the Yellow power ranger (not the douchetool white / green guy) was charming. It made remember to say “thank you” over and over again.

I’ll do this again. It was great fun. I’m exhausted now and need to go to bed.

Oh. In a world full of Whovians it was easy to find others. I saw 5 references to Welcome to Night Vale – and my shirt was commented on by a half-dozen more. It was fun to find a sub-tribe in such a huge mass. I’m sad I didn’t take a picture of “Waiting for the Bus in the Rain” woman – because she NAILED IT.

My husband gave this to me as a birthday gift. He did good.

Thursday I drove to Atlanta to pick up my badge for my first ever major SciFi/Fantasy/Nerdgasm Con — Dragon*Con.

I am loving it – but it isn’t without a flaw or two —- this covers both the love and the other.

I stand (for about an hour) behind the adult love child of my brother and Abraham Lincoln. The voice and mannerisms are my brother’s every step of the way and the face and beard line clearly come from the Lincoln side. If the man were to shed a few pounds he’d have a sideline gig as a re-inactor for sure.

I see hundreds of people, about 50% of them are wearing clever t-shirts, of those I recognize about 50% of their clever references. I am about 40 people behind a perfect, yet grumpy looking, Tinkerbell (right down to the toe puffs and patterned wings).

I have my first two encounters with … stupid, thoughtless instances of sexism. The first is the drunk guy playing Baby Got Back on his ironic boom box while following me. If you’ve seen me, you know that this baby ain’t got back – it is a signature look for me – my backlessness. I cannot honestly say that this is different than drunk guy’s regular Thursday – but I assume it is at least a little different.

Second, is just the damn con badge. Bikini clad woman being chased by a leering dragon…. what the hell people? There are 50,000 people at this convention – it is reasonable to assume ONE of them would be a woman.

This morning my son and I went to participate in the costume parade – he was dressed as the Green Lantern and I was dressed as the 11th Doctor in this precise moment…

Even within the Doctor folks I didn’t get recognized much – which is alternately disappointing and totally reasonable since I am dressed as 90 seconds of a character that has a 50 year television history…

We were at the front of the parade and it was GREAT. I got to carry the “Everything D*C” to mark our section of the parade. It was fun and friendly and HUGE and beautiful and OMG. I kept seeing these amazing costumes on the street of people who were just WATCHING and it was just … amazing.

As part of the rules of the con, I had to wear my badge all the time. Jeff wore a Green Lantern lanyard and badge the whole time as well. During the parade he held on to it as closely as he held my hand. It was his ticket in, and (for him) the clarity of the character he was representing.

We talked, as we drove in, about how he could respond when strangers talked to him. Nothing prepared him for the number of Green Lantern brotherhood shout-outs he got.

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There was an extra bit of sexism – somebody dressed as a doctor (MD, not Whovian) stopped and told me he wanted to me in the stirrups soon (ASS CLOWN!! – 50% of the people around me are too young to drive!) and a bit of General AssHatery – somebody publicly peed close enough to where kiddo and I were eating a snack that it flowed downhill and puddled at my ass. Props for public urination skills – but what the fuck?

We made dragon puppets and went to a child geared stage combat panel. Then we both staggered to the car – completely exhausted. Kiddo was out cold before I was back on the interstate and I needed a huge chunk of downtime when we got home.

I asked him tonight what he thought of when I said “Dragon*Con parade” — the part where we walked or we watched. He thought, first, of the part where we walked.

He and I, we are leos. Waving at strangers, Lantern ringing the cameras, sonic screwdriving the adorable Dalek costumed kids, it all makes total sense to us.

For those folks debating about going to Dragon*Con to see the parade. You should, it is amazing. For those who wonder if maybe some day they could / should walk it. Summon your inner leo and get the hell in the street.

I go back tomorrow to get my picture taken with famous people, to wear my homemade Night Vale shirt, and to take more pictures of amazing costumes.

“I have chosen to not be certain of anything at all.”

Welcome to Night Vale
Episode 5 – The Shape in Grove Park

I like absurd things. I liked the Griffin & Sabine books when they came out. The Third Body, a book nobody ever heard of (even the author it seems) has a strange flow that suited me well at the time. Salvador Dali is my favorite artist. I collect flying pigs.

Into my geek collection is Welcome To Night Vale, a podcast that is completely absurd. I love it. I love that they are threading real stories through casual references to the Sheriff’s Secret Police. That I am curious about the Dog Park even though it doesn’t exist and I should never think of it again.

What I like most is the moments that make me cry. When I am just flowing along on Cecil’s beautiful voice and strange turns of phrase and then he mentions everyone going into the town center – and leaving a space for those who didn’t survive.

“When life seems dangerous and unmanageable, just remember that it is and that you can’t survive forever.
Denny’s Resturants.
Why Not?”

Welcome to Night Vale
Episode 27 – First Date

I am trying to un-mute. It is difficult, but I am trying.