essentialsaltes: (diversity)
So there's been a bit of a kerfuffle.

The enigmachat email list has, over the years, died down in frequency to near moribund levels. But it perked up again with the campaign and questions about ballot initiatives. I gave my opinions. And there was a little back and forth. And then Darnell stuck his nose in with his usual flat-affected poorly-expressed stupidity. Now, I've only met Darnell in person a couple times, and nothing of much note occurred, but most of his email conversation has been repugnant and poorly thought out and expressed, as was this instance. So, because for me, he is only an object of disdain, detestation, and occasional humor, I tried to elicit further commentary from him, hoping to hear him express more poor, repugnant opinions for the edification of all (i.e. so that everyone would know he's an idiot with repugnant views).

But things took a turn. [livejournal.com profile] thefayth went off. "I am deeply distressed by the email I received today on the EnigmaChat mailing list by Mr. Darnell Coleman that continues a cycle of inappropriate statements and behavior over the last 5 years." [my emphasis]

For better or worse, this message hit me before dawn, before coffee, and the first couple responses I saw firmed up my impression, also influenced by certain whispers and gossip, that this was not just about ideas and words, but behavior. And then I fucking went off.

There was a blinding flash of crystal clarity that, although I saw Darnell as an object of ridicule with stupid ideas, and that (only in comparison, mind you) I could be Vol-fucking-taire in amusing myself in showing him up... in actual fact, he was causing harm to people. And so:

Thanks, Faith.

I detest Darnell. I have only met him once or twice, so most of my interaction has been online. But that has been quite enough to last a lifetime.

His opinions are usually offensive, and always poorly thought out and expressed.

Current leadership will have to decide whether his poisonous contributions to the club require action within the guidelines of the group.

I am sensitive to the issue of viewpoint discrimination. I wouldn't want him to be removed simply for holding, or even expressing, unpopular beliefs. But it may well be that his behavior has reached a point that necessitates action.

Looking back, Enigma has from time-to-time had its own little basket of deplorables. From the painfully socially inept, to the gropy, to the political morons, to the religious bigots, to the anti-religious bigots (hi!).

The (rarely used) solution has generally been to encourage the deplorables to 'self-deport'. Make it clear that many people in the club don't want them there. And maybe the best way to make that clear is for many people to actually express it to him.

For the sake of our inboxes, people should write to Darnell personally. However, it might be useful as a record if you could also post a comment in Faith's post to the Enigma Facebook group, so that the powers that be can gauge the sentiment of the members.

But while I have the floor...

Darnell... go away and don't come back. I don't want you in my club. Your negative presence distresses many members and detracts from their experience. I fear you may be a psychic vampire who derives some sick pleasure from distressing others; if so, please find help. Or at least find some other group to infest, because the villagers here are sharpening their stakes. If not, just go already.


I realize (both before and after coffee) that this was an extreme and extrajudicial step. But it was also clear to me that the judicial process had been tried, and those who had complained had received no satisfaction. I do feel for the people in leadership of the club, who are in a difficult position. But I mouthed off.

And pretty soon it was clear that the leadership was taking this seriously, and I tried my best to shut the fuck up, and let them work.

But the response to my incendiary post, and a few like it, was fascinating to me.

>>***: I think using a public forum to do this is unjustifiable and unnecessary, and I don't want to be a part of it.

>Thank you for saying that, ***. I agree fully that such an extremely public discussion is, at the very least, unkind.

Aye ***, well spoken sir.


My visceral reaction to the middle comment was: "Absolutely. Yes, it was unkind. I would be mortified if I was accidentally that unkind, no-- rude, to someone. This was calculated and intentional."

But the weight of these comments coming together in a row finally gave me some insight into what it is like to be 'gaslighted' to use the common parlance.

Maybe I was wrong for backing up Faith. Maybe going through official channels was the best way to deal with it. Maybe I was wrong to be intentionally and publicly rude to Darnell. Maybe this is a witch hunt, and for once I'm the torch-bearing idiot.

Then [livejournal.com profile] alpiyn dropped a nuclear bomb. As much as I was feeling gaslighted for picking on a moron who had done nothing worse to me than be a moron, how much worse or more alienated would people feel who had actually been harmed by this moron?




Now, I'm an old fart. And there's a new generation that's taken over. And that's as it should be. But I find it strange that I have (ok, had!) this idea that the younger crowd are much more up-to-date on this shit than the old fart brigade. We old farts roll our eyes at, "Do I have your explicit consent to nibble your left earlobe?" And we old farts who adore the First Amendment are a bit leery of the new guard's desire to curtail unpleasant speech. But I had this idea that the little pupal SJWs of today are out trying to make 'safe spaces' for everyone to enjoy. And at least in this case, it turned out to be a bunch of crap.

But at least I was right about the fuckdoodly First Amendment cuntborking.

When the official response came, part of it was this.

1) Many of these grievances spawn from online interactions and statements from this individual. In particular, many of them come from threads in the enigma-chat emailing list that is primarily populated by older alums of the club. The individual has been removed from these lists, as well as blocked from this group. That being said, it must stated that some in the officership were unaware of the existence of this list, and we believe that many of the current members who attend weekly meetings were also unaware of its existence. In light of this, we wish to formally disavow the enigma-chat list and leave it in the hands of the alumni. The enigma-chat list will remain as an opt-in option for all members, but we will not be responsible for its content. The transition of moderator responsibility shall take place in the coming week.
2) As for the individual’s continued membership in the club, we have yet to reach a verdict. We are speaking with our advisers on the best course of action to take to avoid repercussions.


Now again, I realize the leadership is in a tough position, and everything does have to be done in accordance with the guidelines (as I called for in my original rant), and this may take time. But I still think it's sad that the old farts on the email list get unceremoniously shitcanned, while judgment is reserved in the case of the malefactor. To be fair, this message was released before alpiyn unleashed hellfire.

It's also interesti.. no, infuriating, that some of the messaging has been that all of the complaints have been about just ideas and words. But Faith's message does mention behavior. My message explicitly protects ideas and expression, but draws the line at behavior. Again, I hope that the official response, when it comes, takes into account whether it was merely expression of unpopular views, or if it was behavior that created a hostile environment.

But getting back to one of the shortest of the many soapboxes I've stood on in this rant, enigmachat is too full of the free discourse of ideas and poopoo words to be a part of what the club wants to be in this day and age.

So in conclusion...

Fuck you in your fatherfisting cloaca!

/mic drop
essentialsaltes: (islam)
Some weeks back, I think [livejournal.com profile] therrin started a thread about SF/noir detective fiction, and I recalled George Alec Effinger's When Gravity Fails and its sequels. The Wiki page mentioned a detail of which I was unaware: "Effinger started work on a fourth Audran novel, Word of Night, but died before that work was completed. The existing chapters of Word of Night are now available in the posthumously published Budayeen Nights, along with some other Budayeen and non-Budayeen short stories."

And so, a little ebaying, and here I am with an ex-library copy of the Golden Gryphon edition of Budayeen Nights. The foreword and story introductions are provided by Barbara Hambly, and they are (in addition to being useful and insightful) occasionally uncomfortably frank about his problems with alcohol and drugs, which he used to combat the physical and mental pain in his life. In volume 2 of things I didn't know, Hambly and Effinger were briefly married near the end of his life.

Despite that depressing lead-in, it's still delightful to hang out with Marîd again in his usual haunts, in and around the events of the existing novels, and also in one story set long after those events. Other stories don't feature Marîd, but are clearly in the same world, including the Nebula and Hugo winning "Schrödinger's Kitten" (which struck me as being merely great, rather than award-sweeping) and "King of the Cyber Rifles," which has more to offer than just the cleverness of the title.

"The City on the Sand" from 1973 is less interesting as a story than as a look into the proto-Budayeen, inhabited by proto-Budayeen characters and Effinger's stand-in, Sandor Courane. It helps to draw the line from what Effinger was up to in the 70s to When Gravity Fails. And the other bookend is a peek into the unfinished fourth novel, with what counts as a short story to set things in motion.

I had the great fortune to meet Effinger briefly, and express my admiration for his work, when I was a lowly gofer, helping out at the 1996 Nebula Awards, which were held at the Queen Mary. And while we're name dropping, Barbara Hambly was kind enough to come to the very first EnigmaCon back in 1987.
essentialsaltes: (Dead)
This is what 45 looks like.

IMG_2096

[For reference, this is what 40 looks like.]

The comment there about 'Sunday was lazy football watching and pizza making' remains fairly apposite, as here is dinner:

IMG_2099

Prosciutto, broccolini, onion, olives, jalapeño, capers...

Yes, it was very, very good.

But I do not taunt you aimlessly, (maybe).

As I alluded before, a year from today will mark the completion of my 46th year. Twice 23. 23 years (arguably 92) since the events of 23 Skidoo occurred.

So I officially announce 23 Skidoo Times Two. September 13th, 2015 -- hopefully some of you will survive into September 14th.

This live game is not literally a sequel to 23 Skidoo -- especially since only a handful of people 'survived' -- but I'm certainly open to continuing lines.

My basic ideas...

The setting
Date: 1946
Place: Vienna, Austria
Venue: An auction of rare items and curiosae, much of it no doubt liberated by the vicissitudes of WWII.
Characters: to be written by players, and then adapted as needed by moi.
Primary filmic reference: The Third Man. Not that the game will necessarily be anything like this, but you must watch this peerless film, and thank me later.
Theme: Lovecraftian references will no doubt be present, and possibly of primary importance, but not necessarily overpowering. Postwar malaise. Black Market. Greed. Lust. Wrath. Other Deadly Sins.

The game: theater-style live game. In many ways an ode to the Enigma games of yore, but informed by the past few decades.

The players: I hope and trust, a great many of my friends, old and new, from Enigma, Wyrd Con, and beyond.

The details: In general.... TBA.

And so I ask... who's in? Contact me publicly or privately with your ideas, suggestions, concerns, etc.

In some months a more official announcement will appear, but for now this serves as an announcement of intent.



"Appendix D of The Lord of the Rings says that our New Year's Day (January 1) corresponds "more or less" to the Shire's "January 9", and in standard years our September 14 and the Shire's "September 22" [i.e. Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday] both fall 256 days after that date."
essentialsaltes: (Dead)
For the past few days, I've been living about 2.5 lives, and not had time to catch up on it. Until now (?) We'll see how far I get.

click at your own risk )
essentialsaltes: (Wotan)
I jetted back down to get in on a Dresden Files LARP run by a troupe based in NYC. Sunday morning is a difficult time, and I was by no means the most weary.

But we got sorted out, prepped, and game on. My character was somewhat tangential to the main plot, but I had no problem getting into things. A few good lines, some good back and forth, a time to shine (and show up my mentor) and tried to help a few other people get their own stories out. It really was a good group of role-players, and it gave me the same good feeling as Foundations at the first Wyrd Con. I had no expectations going in, and it turned out fabulous.

That led into the closing ceremonies where everyone got thanked and awarded. Costume and prop awards. The lackeys, er minions, for their hard work. And the dedicated con staff. And then some thought for Wyrd Con 5. At long last, it's coming to LA (one of the LAX hotels). This makes me so happy for perfectly selfish reasons. Unfortunately, the date chosen was Memorial Day. This conflicts with the traditional date for Maxicon. So there was some grumbling amongst the Enigmans. And some of the East Coast folk were not looking forward to the prospect of travel on Memorial Day weekend.

I liked the Dresden Files game so much, that I have some of the GMs luggage in my car. No, I didn't steal it, but storage room in their arranged transportation was at a premium. Probably some time not too far from now, it will be collected and taken away to the airport for their flight back.
essentialsaltes: (Cocktail)
Wyrd Con 4 is next month.

It finally fully registered that I'll be running "Exodus 22:18" on my birfday.

So I guess it'll be more like Exodus 40:4, if you know what I mean.

And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof.

Yeah, more or less sounds like set-up for a live game.
essentialsaltes: (Psychic)
Subtitled 'Scientific Discoveries and Explorations in the Psychic World', this is the kind of book that makes me sigh with pain every few pages. But I was curious, since Dr. Moss carried out her quasi-unofficial parapsychological studies at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. And some of us met her quondam star psychic, Barry Taff, when he came to Enigma to see if there was interest in his ghost hunting exploits.

Written in 1974, the book offers a breathless glimpse at the state-of-the-art of academic parapsychology at that moment. Moss travelled to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to look at psychic happenings behind the Iron Curtain, and a conference in Prague seems to have given her the idea to write the book. Here's a taste of the conference:

Professor Alexander Dubrov, Soviet academician ... discussed his research into "biogravity," which he defined as "the ability of living organisms to generate and detect gravitational waves."
...
With wonder in his voice, he told us that in mitosis of a cell one can observe "an energetic radiation of photons," visible as a weak luminescence. At the same time, there is present a radiation of ultrasonic waves at a high frequency ... And, during the process of mitosis, the liquid of the cell converts to a crystalline structure. "Imagine," he repeated with excitement, "the liquid of the cell turns into crystal!" For those of us whose juices might not be stirred by this fact, he pointed out that these characteristics tend to confirm his hypothesis that "biogravitational waves" emanate from cells, which in turn could account for such phenomena as telepathy, the movement of objects at a distance, and perhaps even levitation.


Give me a moment for my eyes to roll back into place.

You may think I'm attacking low-hanging fruit, but like with Science and the Paranormal, one of the interesting things about the book is how much time it devotes to things that even the true believers (but not the true true believers) have discarded long ago: Uri Geller, Samuel Soal, Kirlian photography, Ted Serios...

More alarming still is the very favorable treatment all of these things get. I mean, believers and skeptics will argue about whether Ted Serios' 'gizmo' was evidence that his 'thoughtographs' were fraudulent, or merely a perfectly innocent plastic tube that he liked to press against the lens of the camera. But Moss does not mention the gizmo at all.

This and other things I know about made me mistrust the things I didn't know about.
essentialsaltes: (Cognitive Hazard)
I fought my way through Friday rush hour traffic to return for [livejournal.com profile] hagdirt's Game of Sunken Places. The Framing LARP is that the war between the 'elves' and the 'goblins' is mediated by a LARP-like game constructed 'cooperatively' by the goblins and elves, and then sprung on unsuspecting humans. The two contestants (or in our case, teams) compete for each side.

Although the framing LARP provided some character interaction and motivations, the activity slid more into a crash-course unsupervised workshop in creating a LARP communally using whatever brainpower we could muster and the contents of K's craft room and prop cupboard. And then run it. In the space of a few hours.

Given her prep talk, I think one of K's motivations was to investigate this creative process, and it was interesting to be both a part of that process and to keep a spare brain cell handy to watch it from the outside. Maybe if you had recorded everything, you could have traced all the decision-making and compromises and coming together of different elements, but it is still kind of a mystery when you have that feeling that 'the room' just had an idea. Or when an idea that stinks gets the silent treatment or stonewalling until a better idea comes along.

Then we managed to rustle up a posse of random conventioneers with nothing to do to play the LARP that we had created. Or at least the 40% of it that fully existed at that point. While they went through the first challenge, we finished up the second, and likewise with the third. It was sort of a harrowing example of just-in-time logistics.

The geniusiest challenge created by the room (mostly a combo of the Sarah and J part of the room, IIRC) was for each team to receive four Tarot cards, mainly distinctive portraits from the Major Arcana (yes, I can't escape the Tarot at Wyrd Con). Their task was to go out into the convention and take photos recreating the Tarot images using other conventioneers as the subjects, enhanced by props from the communal pile and anything else they could lay their hands on. They were to be judged on accuracy and creativity, and they did very well on both counts. Hopefully, K will make the images public, if and when she has a chance to set down what happened.

The players (and the random people they also dragged into this) were absolutely great. I'm glad they were so enthusiastic about jumping into these random challenges that had been heaped upon them. It makes me feel good about my game tonight that WyrdCon attendees are looking to have a good LARP experience, and they will have a good LARP experience, if something even remotely resembling the opportunity of a good LARP experience is offered to them.

It's kind of curious in my recounting of Casino Arcana that I pitched Murder by Death as a possibility for my next Wyrd Con LARP. Because that sounds similar to And On The Other Hand, Death, which was supposed to run this morning, but got scratched. I'm bummed, since I had signed up for it, but it'll keep my day clear to prepare for Death in Valhalla. And in related news, that means I'll run the best murder mystery LARP at Wyrd Con.

Oh, maybe Werewolves of Millers Hollow counts... maybe there's competition after all. Hard to beat a fun party game.

Two Wyrd

Jun. 12th, 2011 03:58 pm
essentialsaltes: (Cthulhu)
The second Wyrd Con is wrapping up about now. I only went Saturday, but packed quite a bit in. I wanted to show up for the LGL brunch this morning and hang out with friends old and new, but couldn't face the thought of driving to the OC and back twice today (since we're having dinner with Dad later today).
spoilers & war stories )
essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
[livejournal.com profile] aaronjv is running another roadpuzzlerally here in the City of Angels. I enjoyed Aaron's first one, though my team's late start hobbled our chances. Indeed, I enjoyed it enough to run my own, receiving the execrations and cheers of many.

Anyway, I'm thinking of forming a team. Any of you cool cats up for that?

"There will be armed (boffer) combat, but only between other fighters (duels) and select NPCs. Feel free to invite others, larpers, non-larpers, friends, family, etc. Each team must have a legal, registered driver and an insured vehicle. At least one cell phone with a camera is required for each team. You are expected to have Internet access, but it will help you less than you think."

Of all of those required things... I can only supply "a legal, registered driver and an insured vehicle"

So I could use:
* someone with a suitable phone.
* someone with mobile internet access (probably included above)
* someone who has both skill and an avocation for hitting people with padded sticks.

ETA: It occurs to me that the game is running on Judgment Day, so if the world does not end as scheduled, you can thank the ChronoAgents.
essentialsaltes: (Internet Disease)
SomethingAwful provides a nice list of "The Least Essential Wikipedia Pages"

Just keep in mind that all of these, from Judaism in Rugrats to the List of animals with fraudulent degrees is more notable than Enigma, though possibly Enigma could be merged with the article on involuntary celibacy. Zing!

Maxicon

May. 25th, 2009 10:32 am
essentialsaltes: (islam)
All hail [livejournal.com profile] popepat (and family) for hosting Maxicon! Thank yous!
recap )
essentialsaltes: (Playing With Fire)
Ran a session of Casino Arcane for Metacon. This is my goofy poker-with-Tarot cards game, with minimal live game appendages. For some demented reason, I set it in 1937 and used a bunch of authentic people for the characters, from Senator Truman of Missouri to Clara Petacci.

[livejournal.com profile] mewatson triumphed as Signorina Petacci, displaying her brutally fascist qualities by not only keeping in the game, but taking out Senator Truman and Sir John Ellerman in fisticuffs. The Fool 'only' had $2.2 million this time at the end of the game. Although not a winner of money, Admiral Yamamoto wound up with plenty of souls. I see a more prosperous future for the Axis (at least the Italo-Japanese portion - the lame Nazi was a total bust) but perhaps the game in 1944 will alter things again...

Players new and old seemed to enjoy it. I think with some more streamlining and a rehaul of the Major Arcana points, it could be marketable.

I even had a momentary vision of a 'league'. Perhaps souls would have in-game 'always on' effects, making them more valuable (and making sales of them more interesting/lucrative). Better players would soon amass a storehouse of souls. Better players would also improve their Major Arcana rank. At a league-sanctioned event, they could choose which soul (only one) to wager at the game. Step 3: profit.

Enigma

Oct. 3rd, 2007 11:04 am
essentialsaltes: (Robot in Orbit)
Last night was the kickoff Enigma meeting of the year. Kudos to the officers and recruitment people. That (woefully inadequate) room was packed wall to wall. Enigma really got shafted in the room lottery, but that many people would have filled even the larger meeting rooms. It was chaotic and disorganized, but everyone looked like they were having a good time chatting and bonding and staying away from the creepy old people.

I wish there had been more opportunity for announcements and introductions, but the sheer numbers really precluded that. I waved my teaser fliers for Save Our City around in the air and plunked them down on a desk to general indifference.

[Strangely enough, someone else had fliers for a puzzle rally in Los Angeles. This one as a benefit for the AIDS marathon --> AIDS Project LA. It's $25, running Nov 10-11.]

It was a far cry from some other first meetings of the year, where my presence added 10% to the population in the room and helped give the impression that the club was still alive. Here, I was entirely superfluous. And it felt great to be obsolete! So I left!


And in the "Won't Somebody Think of the Children" Department: Search your couch for loose change and help some teachers. I mean, honestly, one teacher's class is using stapled together computer paper for lab notebooks.
essentialsaltes: (Internet Disease)
This weekend is the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of Enigma. An almost ridiculous milestone. I've been a member of Enigma for so long that it wasn't even Enigma when I joined. 19.5 years ago, I joined what was then known as Attempted Escape in the fall of my freshman year at UCLA. One of the first orders of business was to choose a new name for the club. It's funny that both Robert and I distinctly remember S. Michael Price (as he was known then) supporting Enigma because then the journal would be called Enigmata (pronounced in affected English schoolboy Latin cadences).
In any case, Rebecca and I battled the rain Friday evening to get to Nova Express for the kickoff of the Enigmaversary. Clearly the perfect venue. It was awesome. We owned the place for four hours. I personally acted as bouncer and turned someone away. We had music, slideshow, continuous food, drink and people.
It only goes downhill from here )
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Enigma's having its 20th anniversary in a week and a half.
It's kinda neat poking through the photos that people have been uploading. Awwww!!

Evil Cookies and Milk!

And for those of you who missed the legendary New Year's Eve/House Warming party: All you need to know. It's actually amazing how Bino spent virtually his entire evening documenting Aaron. You can watch the whole tragedy play itself out.
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Has it occurred to anyone that by having those two words removed, the majority of people are having their rights trampled?

The majority's rights? Which right is this? The right to feel comfortable that schoolchildren are saying "under God" every morning? That must be one of those rights created by liberal activist judges. Okay, I'll stop picking on the member of the booboisie who wrote the above.

Suffice it to say, removing those two words from the school pledge has nothing to do with anyone's personal freedoms. Everyone is free to say their favorite version of the pledge whenever they feel the need to. Just as everyone is free to pray whenever they like. But an organized public school activity is different. Personally, I never had a huge problem with the Pledge. I just held my breath for a couple seconds and continued on. But looking at it objectively, it's hard to defend the law that inserted "under God" into the pledge.

The Supreme Court doesn't have a perfect way of deciding these kinds of religious issues, but the current system uses the Lemon Test:

First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion."


This law doesn't get very far before failing the test. What is the secular purpose of a law that does nothing other than add "under God" to the Pledge?
Of course, supporters of the two words will counter my Lemon Fu with Ceremonial Tae-Kwan-Deism, the idea that those words don't actually mean anything, wink-wink. It will be interesting to see what the Supremes make of the case, if and when it gets there. If the list of amicus curiae briefs resembles the list from the first abortive go-round, one wonders why all these religious groups are het up one way or another over something that doesn't really mean anything, wink-wink.

Anyway, I didn't really intend to rant about this, but I was thinking about the phrase 'one nation indivisible'. Inserting 'under God' into that phrase divides the nation.

All right, moving out of the deep end of the meme pool into shallower waters, last night was the kick-off meeting for Enigma for the school year. The turn-out was great. They pulled a lot of new freshpeoples in, including a good number of the female persuasion. Plenty of gaming, eating and mingling. Though, as is often the case, there was a certain amount of masochism inherent in going to the event:
-Todd points at me and says, "You're old, aren't you?" In his defence, I will assume he meant 'old as opposed to being new to Enigma'. Nevertheless, there was almost a quick game of age and deviousness versus youth and pudginess.
-While I was describing how and when I met Becca in the dorms at UCLA, a callow freshwoman casually announced that that was the same month she was born. Thank you so much, dearie.

I tried to talk to as many new people as Old Ones and roughly succeeded. To make this more LJ-o-centric, I can say that I saw [livejournal.com profile] colleency & [livejournal.com profile] aaronjv & [livejournal.com profile] therrin & [livejournal.com profile] chibi_neko & [livejournal.com profile] mooglepower & [livejournal.com profile] crestedpenguin.

Solid Day

May. 30th, 2005 12:07 pm
essentialsaltes: (Default)
Saturday morning, I was out the door at 8AM headed for UCLA and EnigmaCon. I toted TV's, welcomed guests, ran with quarters to a parking meter, escorted guests to the green room, monitored the craziness at Con HQ over three channels of walkie-talkie chatter ("We need forks in the ballroom"), watched over a panel, watched over Harlan Ellison's autograph line (and joined it for getting some of my own books signed), waited endlessly for auction results....

The strangest moment was walking Phil Leirness (director of Spectres) to the Green Room, and he turns to me and says, "I know you. You're Mike Tice". I stare at him like a dumbass. This is a talent of people in the film industry... they know everyone and forget no one. "Back when I was at school here, I played in some live games..." Finally, tiny pieces of memory nibble at my brain. He was a G-Man in 23 Skidoo -- 13 years ago.
Got to listen to George Clayton Johnson's elliptical stories of the early days of Twilight Zone. He's as eccentric and entertaining as ever.
I watched over the autograph line when Harlan Ellison was there (mainly so I could get some books of my own signed) and it was embarrassing how few people there were. As I recounted to [livejournal.com profile] ladyeuthanasia, he bore it with as much good grace as anyone could imagine Harlan to muster.
I rue that I did not win the iPod in the auction, but getting a signed copy of Masks of Nyarlathotep (mint in plastic, no less) has helped salve my bruised acquisitiveness.
On the whole, the convention was almost certainly more successful than any previous Enigmacon, but far less successful than a certain optimistic element of the planning committee expected. I know many people worked their asses off for months ahead of time, and I only worked my ass off for nine hours. I've no complaints and would rather focus on the successes of Enigmacon 05. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] thefayth, [livejournal.com profile] aaronjv, Scott, Kirsten and all the others who played a part in the whole shebang.
That said, I cut out early (so those who stayed behind to clean up afterwards deserve my gratitude) in order to pick up Rebecca at LAX. As I said, I had to wait longer than I liked for the auction results to appear, so I was already late setting off. Then, I discovered that the 405 had been fucked in the ass in some sort of vehicular gang bang. The first 'accident' was an eloquent remnant of a gripping short-story. All there was was an abandoned boat trailer (with boat) on the shoulder with one tire blown-out.
Then there were about five slightly scrunched cars parked with 3 or 4 CHiPs at the 10-405 interchange. Once past that, there were two more cars parked in the fast lane with matching fender shapes. At last, some semblance of freedom reigns, and I get to LAX maybe fifteen minutes after the scheduled landing of Becca's Malaysian Air flight. No doubt, she will spend some time in customs, etc. Then I get in the terminal and start interpreting the big board o' flight information. It takes me a while to find what I'm looking for, because it's the first one on the board, showing that her flight had come in 52 minutes early. I head back out to the street and find my pookie-face. Music swells and the camera circles us.
I drive her home, she has a quick shower, and then we head out for Richard's 40th Birthday party. I have a pretty good time talking to the various folk who were there, but since most of Rebecca's internal organs are living in different time zones scattered from Los Angeles to Bangalore, we make an early goodbye after cake and presents.
Unfortunately, Rebecca seems to have picked up some nasty bug on board the flight, so most of her Sunday was spent lying on a couch moaning softly. I wasn't gonna put up with any more of that nonsense, so I applied the whip this morning, and got her out mowing the lawn. But at least I made her a nice mojito with our mint, which is now growing rampant in the backyard.
And now, to compose a limerick, as someone has (out of the blue) ordered a special edition of the Eldritch Quintuplets. With a regular edition sold to [livejournal.com profile] danharms that makes two in one week, something that hasn't happened for quite some time.

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