Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Update: Comic Con, etc.

In which I link my only readers to their own blogs:

Within an hour or so of my last post (the first draft of the giant Comic Con Adventure Spreadsheet) Polly (@bodici22 on twitter, of found us a backyard to set up camp in San Diego! So most of the paranoid WalMart parking lot safety plans are now irrelevant. This is good for many reasons, among the foremost being something I ignored when making the plans, that WalMart is of the Dark Side.

Point Proven (again): I will join the Dark Side if it guarantees survival.

I should probably be less comfortable admitting that, but it has proven itself so many times that I sort of have to accept it.

In an epic fantasy character tropes sense, I am the slightly evil minion who feels bad about it. Roommate Hollis is the good guy who complains about it. Roommate Colleen (@bowlerhat, is Gandalf. So is Younger Sister Melody (@whitefluffyhat,, though I suspect they're Gandalf for different reasons. Melody is Gandalf primarily because of her beard.

On the reading table now:
The Theatre & Its Double - Antonin Artaud (A text I was supposed to study in primary studio but never really got the point of. Makes much more sense now.)
The Empty Space - Peter Brook (Same, though I think I just never got around to finishing this one. I am good student.)
Cardcaptor Sakura - CLAMP (because I can't resist a good serial about supernatural fourth graders)
Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman (A trove of totally delightful short stories & poems, I have yet to encounter one I haven't liked. Favorite so far has probably been "Bitter Grounds," but I have no idea what happened.)

Looking for some not-directly-theater-related non-fiction, last night at about midnight I picked up Man and His Symbols, read a sentence or two, and gave up. I have some conditioning to do before my Comp Lit class in the fall.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Comic Con Survival Notes, Draft I

Over the past couple days, I've been drafting a spreadsheet to help organize my looming and possibly disastrous trip to San Diego Comic Con. Those in our caravan include me, my sister Melody, and our friends Beth, Polly, and Crystal.

We are young.
We are broke.
Yet, we are going to Comic Con.

These notes are incomplete, but in lieu of money or any real plans they're all we have. So, dearest friends, let's make this happen. We're only young once.


  1. Transportation:

      1. Car #1 – Hermione (Beth's car)

        • Tiny car with sizable trunk

        • Seats 5, sleeps no more than 2

        • Approximately 28 miles/gallon

      2. Car #2 – Satan (Amy & Melody's mother's car)

        • Minivan

        • Seats 7, could sleep 4 maybe

        • Removable backseats (good for storage/sleeping)

        • Unknown mpg, my mother hasn't texted me back yet.

      3. Backup car – Prior (Amy & Melody's car)

        • Tiny car with large trunk

        • Seats 5, sleeps no more than 2

        • Approximately 25 miles/gallon

      4. Other backup cars (?) Note: Nobody trusts Baby Beast.

      5. Safety requirements:

        • Everyone must feel comfortable driving both cars. In an emergency, this may be necessary. Melody, force Mom to teach you to drive Satan.

        • Use common sense regarding seatbelts, seat-sharing, speeding, parking laws, etc. We can't afford to be ticketed or arrested.

  2. Lodging:

      1. Location

        • Parking lot camping

          Most Wal Marts allow people to spend the night in the parking lot.


          • Locations of San Diego Wal Marts

          • Are these Wal Marts open 24 hours?

          • Map or approximation of Comic Con transportation system

          • Other ideas for parking lots where we may spend the night WITHOUT getting arrested.

          • Are people allowed to sleep in Con parking lots? This would cost more, but we could potentially get parking next door/within walking distance of the Con.

        • San Diego residents who will allow us to camp in their backyard.

          Because there are five of us and we're staying for five nights, I am leery of crashing in someone's house unless we're absolutely positive that we won't impede their lifestyle. However, if we found a place nearish to Public Transit or the Comic Con transportation system, we could potentially pitch tents in someone's backyard. This would be safer than Wal Mart.

      2. Power

        • Some simple A/C power adapters exist for cars. I am not an electrician, but I think these contraptions are best for smallish things like phone & computer chargers, lamps, etc.

        • Otherwise, Bunsen burners, battery-operated lanterns, etc. may be our best bets for powering this trip.

        • For high-power things like hair dryers (??? Dunno, cosplay) we would be best to use Wal Mart bathrooms.

        • Obviously, all phones, cameras, ipods, computers, etc. should be fully charged before we leave, and turned off when possible.

        • If you have extra batteries for things like video cameras, charge them and bring them.

        • We need a large supply of AA batteries.

        • We also need jumper cables for our cars in case we destroy the batteries by using power.

        • INFORMATION NEEDED: Does anyone here actually know how to jump a car?

        • I haven't looked into power generators, and know very little about them. Does anyone have any other ideas for how to provide power for our parking lot camping con trip?

      3. Food

        • Requirements: Non-perishable, non-refrigerated food for 5 people for 6 days (4 Con days and 2 travel days)

        • Nutrition: If we eat poorly, we'll be unhappy. Just saying.

          • Fruits/Vegetables – non-squishy, non-refrigerated. Apples, pears, carrots, snap peas, edamame, NO BANANAS

              Millions of peaches, peaches for me. Millions of peaches, peaches for free.

          • Protein – Peanut butter, whole wheat products

          • Multivitamins

          • Iron supplements

          • Lots and lots of instant coffee

          • Water

        • Meals: We gotta eat, guys.

          • Breakfast – granola bars, fruit, dry cereal, toast.

            NOTE: Oh my God, guys. Let's bring a toaster.

          • Lunch – packed for cons – sandwiches, fruit, snack stuff like chips & edamame

          • Dinner – also packed? Also, we could bring a Bunsen burner and heat water to make pasta, seasoned with garlic powder & pepper. & PAM spray.

      1. Hygiene

        • Not optional.

        • We should bring a big basin or something to fill with water to do sponge baths

        • Cosplay – Is anyone (other than me) planning on doing things with their real hair? If so, we need to plan for some sort of shampoo plan/invasion of the Wal Mart bathroom to use a hair dryer.

        • In the event that one or more of us ladies has a timely hygienic problem, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

        • Full-length mirror for cosplay

        • Rope & sheets to cordon off an area between the two cars to change/wash, but for the most part:

        • Everyone should master the art of changing clothes without exposing one's self, or don't care if you're naked in the parking lot.

      1. Storage

        • This is tricky, because of the necessary space occupied by cosplay, camping, food, musical instruments, and slave textiles, not to mention people sleeping. Thus, I propose what we in the theater call a

        • PACK PLAN. There will be deadlines. There will be diagrams. There will be limits. There will be order.

        • Wigs & delicate costumes – Top space will be given to wigs & things that must remain upright, but due to the volume of people & stuff we're bringing, I'm not sure how this is going to work out. Polly/Crystal, are there any preferred methods for storing/transporting wigs that don't require flat surfaces/styrofoam heads? If so, we all need to be briefed on wig protocol.

  1. Convention Logistics:

      1. Transportation to/from Con

        • As previously stated, we need locations of Wal Marts & Con transportation systems.

        • Because of costs, I would rather not purchase parking at the Con if we are staying elsewhere. This will help facilitate camping & budget stuff.

        • Buddy system

        • Walkie talkies?

      2. Volunteering

        • Convention rules:

          • If you sign up and complete a volunteer shift, you are guaranteed free admission to the Con for that day. If you don't, you have to pay, and you may not get in because the thing is like quadruply sold out.

          • Are all of us registered as volunteers? I know Mel, Beth and I are.

        • Signing up for shifts

          • Wednesday – Volunteers can show up from 10-6 to check in and get assignments for Thursday. We should do this as soon as we get to San Diego.

          • Every other day – Volunteers can show up from 1:30-7 to get assignments for the following day.

          • I propose a buddy system for volunteer shifts – it will be more fun this way! This ultimately depends on our individual priorities for con events & panels

        • Other

          • See below: how to coordinate cosplay needs with volunteer requirements?

      3. Storage @ Con

        • INFORMATION NEEDED: Are there lockers/storage facilities for volunteers at the con? How much do they cost? Must facilitate volunteer wardrobe with cosplay

      4. Food @ Con

        • I hear tell that Con food is ridiculously expensive.

        • INFORMATION NEEDED: How ridiculously expensive?

  2. Money:

      1. Survival Expenses

        • Gas

        • Food

        • Emergency funds

      2. Other expenses

        • Merch

        • Parking (?)

      3. Guerilla Income (Textile Factory)

        • I may not be able to contribute to this (because I'm swamped enough trying to complete my overambitious cosplays, as I'm sure many of you are too) but it was an idea we've been throwing around and so I'm including it here.

        • INFORMATION NEEDED: Con rules on unlicensed merchandise, etc.

        • Possible products:

          • Jayne hats

          • Plushies (?)

          • TARDIS knits of some kind (?)

          • Potter scarves (?)

          • Stargates

      4. Guerilla Income (Street Musicians)

        • Entertain people on the Comic Con transit system & in lines

        • INFORMATION NEEDED: Con rules on street performance and unlicensed fundraising

        • Practice: We should actually build some sort of repertoire/cheat chord sheet in the weeks preceding con, and hold a couple practices

        • Songs:

          • Jayne's Town

          • Firefly Theme

          • Doctor Who theme

          • Doctor Who brute force/cynicism song

          • Stargate theme

          • Wrock classics

          • Modern Major General (Table of the Elements version)

          • Psycho Killer

          • Secret Tunnels

          • Nyan Cat

          • The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

          • The Mysterious Ticking Noise

          • Songs from Dr. Horrible

          • Songs from Once More, With Feeling

          • Songs from Repo

        • Instruments: Must be easily transportable

          • Ukulele

          • Egg shakers/maracas

          • Singamajigs

          • Kazoo

          • Harmonica

          • Ocarina

          • Recorder

          • Accordion (the accordion is heavy & large & fragile, but it wins. I need to know soon weather or not we're going to do the music thing at all, because if not, I'll leave it in New York)

          • Instruments I place on a level equal to wigs in fragility.

  1. Packing List: (NOTE: VERY INCOMPLETE)

      1. Safety

        Jumper cables for car



        Pepper spray/MACE

        AAA cards

        Contact information for everyone we know in San Diego ON PAPER (not in phone)

        Phone chargers

        Loose change (For pay phones/parking)

        Emergency cash/credit cards


        Portable wireless hub (does anyone have one? We could jailbreak Beth's iphone)

      2. Living

        Sleeping bags



        Large sheets (for hanging privacy curtains in parking lot)

        Rope (for clothesline/privacy curtains)

        Large bucket or basin (for washing & cooking)

      3. Food

        Portable Bunsen burner

        Fruit (apples, pears, other fruits that don't squish/go bad)

        Electric water heater

        A giant fucking can of instant coffee


      4. Hygiene/Cosplay


        Dry shampoo

        Stain remover (tide to go, salt, etc.)


        Clear nail polish

        Nail polish remover

        Bobby pins & hairpins

        Hair ties






      5. Guerilla Fundraising


        Slave labor textile goods

        Change (For textiles?)

        Sign-up sheet (For commissions?)

      6. EMERGENCY

        Feminine products





      7. Other

        Giant signs that say Comic Con or bust

  2. Cosplay

      1. This section is mostly empty, but here we can figure out if we want to coordinate cosplay dates, troubleshoot storage/construction/dressing problems, and otherwise discuss costume related matters.

  3. Itinerary (NOTE: VERY INCOMPLETE)

    1. Before we leave Northern California, we will make a first draft itinerary noting our preferred panels/events, preferred volunteer shifts, etc.

    2. I propose a buddy system for volunteer shifts, panel lines, etc? This will depend on our priorities once the schedule comes out.

    3. I also propose that we leave very, very early Wednesday morning in order to make it to San Diego in time to sign up for our Thursday volunteer shifts and set up camp.

  4. Other

Those of you in our Comic Con party, please contribute with any extra information, ideas, questions, etc! I refuse to be disorganized!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday June 9 - Di Prima

Neutral Milk Hotel's "Ghost" on repeat.

I haven't listened to Neutral Milk for a while - I always associate In the Aeroplane Over The Sea with the days immediately after my high school graduation, which isn't necessarily a time I want to revisit.

But the other night I hitched a ride to Dollar Scoops with Ally, and she was blasting the album. When we reached this song, I said something to the effect of "This might be my favorite song on this album" despite not listening to it for over a year. And so, facing a red-eye from San Francisco back to New York, I started repeating the song, and since, haven't stopped.

It rained through the ten days I spent in California, including the entirety of my sister's high school graduation. Now safely back on the East Coast, it's humid and in the 90s. Our apartment in Bushwick is nice, very nice, except it doesn't have air conditioning, or fans, or air circulation at all, really...

I cooked a Class 2 Breakfast with Vincent and Yonit (Class 2 denotes home-cooked breakfast with multiple courses and friends) and after some brief puttering set off to find air conditioned places to sit.

I ended up spending the afternoon in Bobst reading Diane Di Prima's memoir, one of the many books left in my apartment by wayward friends (no complaints, I've always wanted a house full of books). Words cannot express how closely this woman speaks to me. By the time I'd reached the end of her high school career, I'd moved across the street to Starbucks, where I've been alternately laughing (quietly) and weeping (discreetly) my way through her brief college years. Part of me wants to call my sister & friends in California and cry her name until they are driven in frenzy to the closest bookstore to buy the book. I think instead I'll hunt down like eight copies and tie them with ribbons and present them to the ladies next time I see them.

Then I did what I often do when obsessed with something - call Barbara.

The secret gnosticism of Dante, of my grandfather, who so claimed the here and now in his politics, passed through the hysteria and grief of my mother, and arrived at the message “this world is intolerable”. Translated by me, age two or three, to “This world is not real. Does not take precedence.” Skill at astral travel, at “seeing” other worlds, not separate from the inability to see my own face.


One thing about reading Di Prima - it makes me happy, much happier than before, to be setting out on the adventure of a New York summer, living (mostly) on my own. (Unfortunately, no, I don't pay my own rent. I also have roommates, so I'm not entirely isolated. We're in Bushwick.) I read of Di Prima, wandering the streets of New York City with her high school posse, The Branded, as she studies the Romantics and writes poetry from Village coffeeshops, and I'm compelled, magnetically, to do the same.

OK, Faye's At the Square (the fancy name for NYU Starbucks) isn't really a Village coffeeshop, though it is in the Village and there is coffee. But I do suffer an appropriate amount of indie/anarchic/anti-corporate/liberal/hipster guilt for pretending it is. I should despise and avoid Starbucks on principle, but several factors, including the abundance of NYU internet and the gift card I stole from one of my wayward friends (I use the term endearingly to describe the people who sometimes stay in our apartment) keep me coming back.

As I type all of this, the summer day has disappeared and now a gale blows outside. I have work tonight, then hopefully a reprise of our new post-work tradition, tea & pasta & books on the BALCONY (as I said, we have a great apartment). This tradition is a new one - so far it only stretches so far as last night and whenever Vince & Hollis managed it while I was in California. Last night, Vincent and I were counting the stray cats when a RACCOON walked down Jefferson Avenue.


With that, I leave were I began!

Ghost, ghost I know you live within me
Feel as you fly
In thunderclouds above the city
Into one that I
Loved with all that was left within me
Until we tore in two
Now wings and rings and there's so many
Waiting here for you

And one day in New York City baby
A girl fell from the sky
From the top of a burning apartment building
Fourteen stories high
And when her spirit left her body
How it split the sun
I know that she will live forever
All goes on and on and on and
She goes and now she knows she'll never be afraid
To watch the morning paper blow
Into a hole where no one can escape.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

So this is the New Year

MMXI, hooray for Roman Numerals.

I rang in the New Year the way I have for the past 10 years: watching movies with my sister and our old friend Lexie (Seriously, I remember ringing in 2000 with her. I think we watched Quest for Camelot). This year, it was a festival of Miyazaki movies (all in Japanese, not the English dubs) with Inception for dessert.

This year, however, we were graced with a rare treat: snow! Being Californian and therefore wimps, we stayed shivering on the porch and watched it fall for 30 seconds before returning to Nausicaa, but it was beautiful nonetheless. I did crash my car into a ditch on the way home, because apparently my Bay-Area conditioned Tercel isn't quite up to handling an inch of snow. I'd never lost control of my car before that night, and it was the first time I'd ever felt as though my fate was not at all in my grasp. Even with my hands on the wheel and my foot on the brake (which, I know, actually made the car skid more, but I was panicking), the car was moving of its own accord, and it was not up to me whether it would crash in a ditch, into a tree, down a hill, or into a lake. Luckily, it chose a shallow ditch that I could easily get out of. I went 5 mph the rest of the way home.

It was also the first time I've ever understood why someone might need an enormous car, with the exception of carting around stuff and people. My little car might be relatively eco-friendly (25 mpg!), but up against wind and snow it doesn't fare too well. We're not talking massive storms, either: just foothill flurries and mildly upsetting gusts. Oh well.

I did get myself the most epic journal for this year. At Staples, I asked the clerk (who, incidentally, was an old friend/actor of mine), "Do you have any notebooks with, like 500 pages?" She answered, "No," and so I moved on. Target was a similar failure, though my sister tells me that we shouldn't shop there because they gave a lot of money to an anti-gay rights group. But at Barnes & Noble, I found this beast:

(Appx. thickness: 1.5 inches)

And I said, "MINE."

Because of the monstrosity of this notebook and the limitations of my bank account/gift card stash, I was sadly unable to join the fountain pen club that has become quite glamorous at my school. I'd only lose it, in any case, and I have terrible handwriting.

I haven't had much chance to think about my resolutions, mostly because I have such a poor track record with keeping promises to myself (I hate failure). But apart from the usual (be friendly, eat well, start flossing your damn teeth...) I've come up with these three:

1) Do something physical every day
2) Do something musical every day
3) Write something every day

Oh, and blog more :)

Happy travels!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Long time, no blog.

Hello, blog.

Feeling some mild angst at the moment, mostly because it's reached that point in the semester where there is far too much to do and not enough time to do it. I've been trying a new system this semester of forcing myself to take time for personal projects... such as The Scarf (which is FINALLY FINISHED!) and other things like that. After finishing The Scarf, however, tech weeks started kicking in for my various studio commitments, and things have gone absolutely off the deep end.

Honestly, I'd like to be able to be the sort of person who can still blog, read, knit, etc. while maintaining these sorts of school and work commitments, but the closer I get to my play, the less focus I have to do anything well.

I'm 3 videos behind on mine and Melody's (and Polly's and Beth's and Johanna's) video blog project, and they're all rather angry with me. Sorry, guys.

I've already dropped one of my academic classes, so eliminating more of my pressing tasks isn't really an option.

And I'm behind on NaNoWriMo... it's only November 4th. :(

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The End

Well, this is embarrassing.

I didn't exactly blog yesterday. It slipped my mind. This makes BEDA a certified failure. But hey, it was fun! :)

Melody and I are starting a collaborative blog, and I'm hoping to continue this one as well, so there will definitely be more! No more of this blogging every day thing - I don't like spewing random thoughts and stories without taking the time to edit them. I also don't like crunching the posts down into manageable daily sizes - by the time I write, it's usually close to midnight, so there's very little time to compose anything elegant or interesting.

Solution: Quit procrastinating.

I've nearly finished packing, and although my room is a horrible mess, I'll be leaving first thing in the morning. I'm trying not to overthink this moving thing - - if I do, I'll get upset again.

Bad idea of the day:
Listening to "Transatlanticism" while trying NOT to be depressed.

Melody and I have made a tradition of marathoning our favorite shows the night before I leave. Last winter, we watched Series 4 of Doctor Who in about 36 hours, up until the moment I had to leave for the airport. Today we challenged ourselves to finish Death Note at last, and we succeeded! That theme song sure gets annoying...

Obnoxious music award:
Japanese screamo.

Just... don't.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Textile arts

Well, I'm incapable of sewing a straight line (either by hand or with Grell the sewing machine), but I am capable of whipping a carpet bag accordion case out of my butt two days before I have to leave.

(By the way, yesterday's existential panic attack has finally passed. Whew. That was a stressful 24 hours.)

I went to JoAnn (again) and bought some clearance upholstery fabric that reminds me of Mary Poppins's carpet bag. I'm now in the process of assembling the pieces, filling in the batting, and attaching the old cello case strap to make the accordion carryonable. It's a majestic sort of a carpet bag - there's even a piece of a Cheerios box in there. Anyway, I'm in a bit of a panic over the new sewing machine thing. When I left New York last semester, I was forced to abandon several of my worldly possessions when they wouldn't fit into the storage unit I'm sharing with three other people (granted, most of the stuff is mine. Approximately 65% of it.) Included in the rejects was my tattered blue comforter, which will be sorely missed by all except Kelsey, who reacted to its loss by remarking "Good. It was ugly." Luckily, I have been working on a patchwork quilt, so I decided to finish the quilt this summer and take it with me to school in the fall.

Summer's nearly gone, and I leave for Manhattan in 2 1/2 days. I still have to finish the quilt, finish the carpet bag, and hopefully whip up some kind of petticoat from this great white fabric we found at Wall Mart. This is just textiles. I have the rest of my business, too. Cleaning and packing. It stresses me out to think about it.

A Diversion:

While at JoAnn, I also got a strip of fake fur for the secret plushie factory. This was brought on by Polly, who, when I was stressing about how to best craft Prototype Plushie L's hair, exclaimed, "The problem with L is that his hair behaves more like fur than hair!" Well, Polly, I got some fur. Prototype Plushie's feet may be of vastly different sizes; his torso may be oddly shaped because I forgot to increase for the butt; he may be severely pigeontoed; but this is why he is called Prototype Plushie L instead of simply Plushie L. By the end of the day, Prototype will have the softest, most sensually styled fur hair that any plushie has ever known.