I learned a lot from Spock, growing up. About being an outsider, about listening and observing, about using your intelligence as a tool and not as a weapon, about knowing when to choose reason even when your heart may try to get in the way. And, when called for, he could drop a foe with a subtle word and a deft turn of his hand.

I might have also peed myself a little, when I first learned that Nimoy was also a photographer. He understood how much value there is in looking for the small moments, to take notice of what others often miss. He presented images that challenged our ideas of what it means to be a person.

RIP, good sir. I will always feel privileged to have Spock's name on my jersey, even if my methods are nowhere near as refined as his. I'm only human, after all.

Ignited

Sep. 19th, 2012 11:26 pm
So, yeah, this happened: Tonight, I delivered 20 slides' and 5 minutes' worth of factoids about how to get better at roller skating, in front of a few friends, and hundreds of strangers.

485805_10152084041092619_11221280_n
(photo courtesy [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap)

I submitted my talk just after the last Ignite event, wrote down a couple points in an outline, and then promptly forgot about it for the 6-or-so months following, until they e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago saying, "hey, you've been accepted!" I've spent the past 3 weeks berating myself for accepting the spot--it was nerve-wracking preparing for it, designing the slides on the short timeline they gave was incredibly stressful, and as of this morning, I thought for certain I'd crash and burn horribly.

But, as it turns out, I did okay! A glass of wine loosened me up the right amount, I didn't hurt myself getting up or down from the stage on skates, and I managed to stay on-pace and even-keeled, and keep my tongue mostly-untied throughout the talk. I even got to get a little bit nerdy about center of gravity, using wheel edges, and muscles in the human body.

Don't get me wrong--holy crap, public speaking is terrifying, and I'm certainly not good at it, as a general rule. But hey, I pulled it off this time, and it was (gasp!) actually a pretty fun experience.

So, hooray for pushing boundaries, even if it took a fair bit of nudging from an outside force. ;)
So, yeah, this happened last weekend:



Yes, my sandwich-themed superhero, Club Slamwich, won Best Hero Costume at the Alter Egos pub crawl. I think it was the sandwiches in my utility belt that sealed the deal. Yes, as in actual, edible sandwiches that I made myself.

(thanks to [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap for grabbing my camera and taking this, because I completely did not expect to win)

In other news, I still suck at small talk, but it doesn't seem to stop me from having a good time. I heard Bobcat Goldthwaite utter the above quote on a podcast a few days ago, and thought, "Bobcat Goldthwaite, you understand me." Which is not to say that I plan to don a loud voice and "wacky" persona for any extended period--I certainly wasn't planning on it--but, still. Truth is there.

Oh, and regarding the Heroes/Villains event, there are more photos on Google+. And yes, I'm linking to G+, because Facebook's photo compression makes pretty photos look at least 47% worse.
batskeets: (yan!)
So, my birthday weekend was pretty sweet:
  • I spent a large part of Friday afternoon in the kitchen, making a double batch of BACON COOKIES. Those things are so, so labor-intensive, but holy damn, they're good.
  • Later that afternoon, I got an e-mail from a potential client I'd all but given up on, saying that she wanted to move forward with the (big) project we'd talked about many weeks ago, and that she'd bring me the first deposit on Monday.
  • Friday night, my hot boyfriend took me out for dinner at The Sweet Hereafter. I like that he didn't even blink when I suggested a vegan joint as one of the possible places we could go. And, in case you're wondering, that place makes freakin' delicious vegan food.
  • Saturday morning was scrimmage, which is always fun, and I'm really turning into an awesome jammer. Of course, most of the league thinks of me as a blocker because I'm good at hitting, but hey, versatility, right?
  • Saturday afternoon involved biking to Stumptown ComicsFest, to work a shift at the Geek Council's booth. I brought some bacon cookies to give away, and one guy quipped, "so you're giving away the cookies and selling the recipe?" Since I'd already posted the recipe on my business blog, that gave me the perfect excuse to pimp my web site and give out my business card for every cookie I gave out thereafter. XD
  • Saturday afternoon also involved coming home and baking a birthday cake in preparation for the joint birthday party. I made a chocolate cake, with coconut "butter"cream frosting, topped with chocolate ganache. The cake, frosting, and ganache were all vegan, and it was also the first layered cake I've ever made. It came out both beautiful AND delicious. I wish I'd had my pro-camera on-hand so I could've photographed it.
  • Getting ready for the party actually went really smoothly, in generally--I think this was the least stressed-out I've ever been prior to hosting a get-together at my house. The kitchen actually wasn't a disaster left for me to clean (unlike the old place), [livejournal.com profile] dakania and I were cooking/baking and cracking jokes in the kitchen, [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap came over early to help get things ready, and Joe came early to borrow the kitchen and help out. All afternoon, people asked me "what can I do to help?" and I really, really appreciated that. I love my roommates and my friends. <3
  • The party itself? AWESOME. We had fantastic food contributions, plenty of libations to go around, silly hats ahoy, and wonderful people. There were a metric ton of things happening this weekend, and which made me appreciate it more that people came over to my little get-together. I also love that these parties always A) make me wish there were ten of me so I could spend more time with each of the awesome people, and B) fill me with happy because the cool people I know who didn't previously know each other end up clicking so well.
  • There also may or may not have been a couple of alcohol-fueled fireballs happening in the back yard. It's really good that the concrete patio at my house is so huge. XD
  • People got me presents! Really cool ones! I completely didn't expect that. D'aww. <3
  • Sunday involved nursing a cop of Water Avenue Coffee, and finishing the third Game of Thrones book, FINALLY, so I can take a break and read something else now. But, damn, the way a Storm of Swords ended was completely worth it. Then, I met up with Joe at Stumptown ComicsFest to actually wander around and look at things.
  • While at Stumptown, we went to a panel about Oregon History, which included a little trivia contest. In spite of my doubts, we actually won, so we came away with free comics and a gift certificate for Bunk Sandwiches. YES.
  • Also while at Stumptown, I checked on [livejournal.com profile] drjeff's Kickstarter, because Sunday was the final day to make the deadline, and IT GOT FUNDED. So, he gets to write a book, and I get to design it (and a web site to go with). DOUBLE-YES.
  • I dragged my very-tired-self off to Endurance practice, which I was highly tempted to skip, but I didn't, and I wound up doing a pretty awesome job, especially considering I'd gotten all of 5 1/2 hours of sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning. And, one of my fellow Meaties gave me a really cute hand-drawn birthday card. D'aww.
  • After practice, Joe made me curry for dinner, and we watched Avatar: The Last Airbender and passed out early. It was so, so nice to wind down after a long-but-fun weekend.
So, yes. Landing projects, getting creative in the kitchen, seeing wonderful people, skating, and generally winning at life. Happy birthday to me, indeed.

Con Weekend

Apr. 1st, 2012 06:59 pm
I'm back from spending Friday thru Sunday covering ECCC, and some of my photos are already up on the Mercury blog along with Joe's interview-y bits and recapping. (Day 3 should be up tomorrow morning) I am, understandably, beyond exhausted, but I got to go to a big nerd party with my boyfriend for free, so complaining is definitely something I shouldn't be doing, heh.

In bullet point format:
  • Friday was much, much less crowded than I expected, and that was really nice. It was easy to talk with and interview people in the exhibition hall, and I felt like I could actually breathe.
  • Having a press badge remains very cool. I've had the experience in the past of saying, "I'm on the press/photographer list," before, but being ushered into a separate hallway for press and guests only, and completely skipping the gigantic line for tickets/entry? HELL YES.
  • Being at a con in a work-ish capacity didn't come without sacrifices--I wanted to see the Katee Sackhoff panel, for instance, but we had to pass on that, because we were tasked with chasing down Portland-centric announcements and news. I also missed Wil Wheaton and half of a friend's panel, because we had to get the photos and write-ups posted each morning before we could head over to the convention hall.
  • That said, having an excuse to take photos of creatives talking enthusiastically about their work? Completely awesome. Joe did the interviewing, too, so all I had to do was look for the shots.
  • Photos of people at panels? Eeeeuugh. Bad lighting, water bottles/candy wrappers/mic wires strewn about, and generally bland setting doesn't make for the pretty. Fortunately, at least some of the panelists were animated enough to keep things interesting. (see also: the Axe Cop panel)
  • Speaking of missing out on panels, being at this event really drove home how well-managed PAX is, by comparison. At PAX, panels end pretty promptly, lines are organized, and things generally start close-to-on-time. At ECCC, panels pretty frequently ran long and started late. We actually had to bail out on the George Takei panel, because, half an hour after the panel was supposed to have started? We were STILL standing in line, with no sign of movement. That was highly frustrating, to say the least.
  • On the plus side, I now have an I <3 Sriracha shirt courtesy of The Oatmeal, we met Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content, I may have turned Joe into a Buttersafe fan (he really liked the Robot Cat comic they were giving out) and R.K. Milholland drew me a sketch of Pepito saying something in Spanish that I'm sure is completely inappropriate. ;)
We also got to visit with a couple of friends when we weren't at the convention center, so there was also brunch and a fun visit to a goth club. I wimped out on the 6-inch platform boots, but I think I made up for it with shiny pants.

Oh, and there are very few things that are quite as delightful as good cosplay, just sayin':

SLG_8154

Anyhoo, now that I'm done editing, I'm going to go home and unwind for a bit before tonight's GAME OF THRONES PREMIERE OMGYES. Hell of a way to cap off the weekend.
Most exhausting weekend EVAR. It was worth it, yes, but I want a nap.
  • I covered a Friday Happy Hour event with a few contacts from the local shopping guide I shot for. It was fairly low-key, and it wasn't a packed event, but it was nice to chitchat/network with these folks in an environment that wasn't completely overwhelming. Also, the lady doing floral for *my* First Friday event in October is a bloody genius: she used pea shoots in an arrangement for the happy hour. Everything she makes is a surprise.
  • Oh, yeah, and I'm hosting First Friday at my studio in October! I'll post more details in the none-too-distant future, but I'm interested to see how it pans out.
  • Friday night was dinner, drinks, and late-night shenanigans with friends from out of town. It was eventful, but in that good way.
  • Saturday morning scrimmage was fun. I love being able to say that. Getting compliments on my derby play still feels weird, and I think I'll continue to be skeptical of it until I hear it from people who aren't my skating peers. (i.e. non-Freshies)
  • On a more positive note, I did juke around a team skater pretty awesomely while jamming, and had a much-better-than-me Freshie say that my jamming looked good. She may have even used the word, "exciting." So, hey, that's pretty excellent.
  • There was a skater BBQ in the afternoon, which didn't exactly turn out very BBQ-y, given the rainy weather, but it was nice to hang out in a social context. We already see a lot of each other by virtue of the practice schedule, so it's easy to forget that part.
  • Saturday night was a 30th birthday party for one of the aforementioned friends from out of town, so that meant a low-key but well-attended party. A smattering of conversation, a bit of impromptu booty-shaking, and good times were had.
  • Sunday was brunch, with homemade breakfast burritos! Also, it feels funny to be out at brunch with visiting friends and tell them that you’re, “checking your scores,” when the closest you usually come to being a Sports Fan is going to the occasional baseball game with your dad. Thank you, WFTDA East Region Playoffs. ;p
  • Endurance practice in the evening was surprisingly good. I felt like crap after drinking two nights in a row, so I expected it to be awful, but it was unusually easy to snap into really good skating form, so it felt easy. Then again, after the brutal endurance practice we had *last* week, I think just about anything would've felt easy. ;p
  • After practice, some of us from the Birthday Party Squad reconvened to play board games, and I got to break out my copy of the Battlestar Galactica board game. It's a great game, but trying to teach it to a cluster of people who'd never played it before was, erm, difficult. Once you understand how it works, though, it's *awesome*. We also played a game called Quelf, which was pretty amusing and would probably be even moreso with a few drinks in you.
  • Yes, I was also wearing the Not A Robot t-shirt while playing the BSG game. Yes, that was on purpose. XD
So, yeah, good times, great skating, and I'm all out of extroversion. I'm taking tomorrow off, because it's going to be the last bit of calm before West Regionals this weekend. That probably sounds worse than it is, actually, but I do have to photograph part of it for that web site that pays me money to shoot for them, and I don't yet know what days I'll have tickets for. Hopefully, I'll get to sneak in an actually-restful weekend day.

I'll be relieved when Regionals is over after this weekend, and even moreso when Draft is done with 2 1/2 weeks from now. I feel like all I have to talk about lately is derby and work, and I know I've been doing other things, too, but those two things *do* have a way of taking over my entire consciousness.

Tomorrow is going to be awesome, though. Hot damn.

Remember when weekends were restful and rejuvenating? Yeah, me neither.

PAX PAX PAX

Sep. 2nd, 2011 01:54 pm
This userpic seems appropriate, seeing as I finally got a chance to play the BSG board game while I was at PAX. (which, by the way? Is compeltely awesome and I want to buy it)

But, yes: I totally blogged PAX 2011.

And can I just say again how incredible the Omegathon was this year? This will easily go down in my personal history as one of my favorite photographer stories. I love my work. :D

Guess what I'm doing this weekend? Well, I'll tell you what I'm not doing: I'm not leaving PDX, and I'M NOT WORKING. It's high time I had a weekend that looks normal-ish--just some skating and seeing a few friends. Oh, and playing a bit of 4th ed. D&D, because we apparently didn't get enough geekery at PAX last weekend. Silly, silly human, I am.

Drive-by

Aug. 31st, 2011 03:58 pm
So, PAX was pretty excellent. I mean, I spent Friday sleep-deprived, Saturday wrestling with cramps, and Sunday being just totally wiped-out because conventions are exhausting, but cool things were afoot, so it was worth it. I've actually gotten good sleep since returning, too, so that's pretty excellent. I'm working on a recap right now.

Oh yeah, and this happened:


It's amazing how easily he turns me into a blushing, babbling idiot. And by, "amazing," I mean, "utterly embarrassing." I AM 31 YEARS OLD. You'd think I'd be able to comport myself a bit better than that by now!

Oh, and today's my last day at The Job. All of my things here at the office fit into a reusable shopping bag. People here have been sweet and full of well-wishing, but it's time for the next thing. Hell, it's past time for the next thing.
Well, this has certainly been a week.

Okay, so, that's not entirely fair: nothing BAD has happened, per se, aside from the fact that I can't get any bloody sleep.

I got back from shooting at a wedding at 1am Saturday night, so I slept for about 7 hours and still felt tired. I was awake until relatively-late on Sunday night after the Trek In The Dark event, and my body insisted on waking me up early again.

Monday night, I was working late in the studio, and then the refrigerator delivery guy came at the earliest possible part of the delivery window, so I was jolted awake by a phone call at 7:30am, after 6 hours of sleep. Tuesday night, I slept for a longer period, but my tiny bladder resulted in fitful sleep and multiple trips to the bathroom.

Last night? I went to bed early (well, for me--11pm), and then my body said, "why, YES! 4:15am is a completely reasonable time to be awake!" I tried to get back to sleep for over an hour, then finally just gave in and started biking from J's place back to mine at 5:30-ish in the morning.

Fortunately, everything else seems to be coming up pretty rosy. Too bad I'm too exhausted to enjoy it, at the moment. :p

Anyhoo, we're pushing back our PAX departure until early tomorrow morning, and I have to get through a networking event this evening. Because of the latter, I'm currently wearing a cute dress and stilettos that make me feel like a big clumsy oaf, but at least my legs look hot, I suppose. But, damn, I want to be at PAX with my friends right now.

On the up side, we're now catching a ride up to PAX with two awesome people whom I didn't know at this time last year. And for tomorrow thru Sunday, I'm going to be at a big ol' NERD PARTY. And J gets to come with me! We actually pulled off the impossible, and found him a re-sold badge at face value. I STILL can't believe that came through, but it did.

Just a few more hours, and I get to go to bed, and then wake up and have another fantastic weekend at PAX. Oh, hells yes.
YOU GUYS. Next month, Evil Dead will be coming to Wonder Ballroom. In the form of a MUSICAL. http://www.evildeadtour.com/northwest/buytickets/

I am SO there. Who's coming with me? :D

Geek Poll

Oct. 1st, 2010 04:42 pm
I realize that I'm surveying an audience that skews very tech-savvy and geeky, but, I simply must pose this question:

In a recent conversation with a person in my age group, the topic of Halloween came up, and I stated that I would like to dress up as, "a fire flower from Super Mario Brothers," and I was met with a quizzical look.

This individual had no idea what I was talking about. I had to explain how coin boxes work. The phrases, "there are these metal boxes, and he hits them with his head," and, "after he gets the mushroom that turns him into Super Mario, instead of Tiny Wimpy Dies-Instantly Mario..." actually passed through my lips.

Now, I do realize that a lot of people are not gamers. Even I, myself, am far from being a hardcore gamer. But, I'm fairly flabbergasted that anyone who is even tangentially aware of popular culture would not have at least a basic understanding of how a Mario game works!

Question: Is this as unbelievable as I think it is? Y/N
Because I'm lazy, here's a taste of PAX, with photos.

I'm sure I'll write more later, but my head hurts right now. And dude, TOO MANY PICTURES I want to post. Here are the rest of them, and they're also on Facebook with captions, if that's how you roll.
Well, after lots of listmaking and mental flailing, I have finally decided upon a Halloween costume.

And the winner is... )

It'd be easy to pull off a basic version with some fabric and cardboard, if I get too busy to do something fancy. But, if I find enough time, the fully-realized version I'm imagining will likely involve spandex. And possibly sheet metal. And LEDs. And it would be AMAZING.

My creative juices are overflowing. Hoshit.

PAXPAXPAX

Sep. 2nd, 2010 11:45 am
Yes, I am leaving in approximately 90 minutes, Gods and The Job willing. I've already received one time-sensitive request from my, ahem, new favorite Job staffer, but at least it should be quick.

I will have a futurephone this year instead of my ghetto RAZR, and I have to say, The Conventionist app looks like it'll be immensely handy. And! I'll also have MY CANON 5D HOSHIT. Shooting last year, with the Rebel XT and one lonely fixed lens, in the dim light of the Seattle Convention Center, was not exactly inspiring. I'm excited to actually have some decent gear on me this time around.

And, a photo before I go! From my first session of shooting with both [livejournal.com profile] theamazingjosh and with Nikon gear. It'd have been better if we had a more willing subject--it was extremely difficult to get this kid to loosen up and drop her forced smile--but hey, we still pulled it off:


Okay. Time to triple-check my packing list! YES. :D

Holy crap

Aug. 31st, 2010 12:20 pm
YOU GUYS. I LEAVE FOR PAX IN TWO DAYS.

Adding to my list of insane PAX ideas: rolling around the Convention Center on my skates. It would be just like derby! Except that I'd be bobbing and weaving through 60,000 nerds, instead of half-a-dozen-or-so derby girls. And nobody else would be on skates.

...okay, so this probably won't happen. But I *am* tempted to bring my skates and at least roll around on the streets of Seattle on Thursday night. Cancelled derby practice last weekend, and not being in town for practice this weekend equals too much time away from my skates.

Anyhoo, my free weekend was so, so necessary, and I can't complain about it at all. I did get a monster headache on Saturday which took me down for the count for a while, but other than that, I got to goof off and laptop party with Alyson, Carolyn, and Alicia during the day, hit up a graduation party late in the evening, clank an extra pint with [livejournal.com profile] katlyn and [livejournal.com profile] daemonwise, sleep until 11am for two days in a row (!), camp out at Backspace for some relaxed-and-groovy work time, and go on a spontaneous urban hike all by my lonesome.

Being hyper-social has been an effective reminder of how wonderful it is to be by myself. The balance I struck between social and anti-social this weekend was pretty darned perfect. And wow, I haven't enjoyed an aimless stroll that much in ages.

I love this town, and the people in it.
So, I appear to be slowly losing weight again. Considering how stressed out I've been lately (stress usually makes me gain), and how many social activities I've been engaging in (yep, social drinker/eater to the Nth degree), this. Is. AWESOME.

In light of that, I am vaguely flirting with the notion of doing a bit of cosplay at PAX. But, I can't decide if rolling out that Psylocke costume in the midst of such a grand Geek Pilgrimage would be the best idea ever, or the absolute worst. XD Yeah, I *do* know kung fu, although I've never tried it in 3.5-inch heels. ;)

Anyhoo, yes. PAXPAXPAXPAXPAX. Regardless of the costuming question, I can't freakin' WAIT for Labor Day weekend, y'all.
batskeets: (yan!)
So, I kind of forgot to post anything yesterday, because I was working. And actually enjoying it. Hoshit. When was the last time that happened? I'm not sure, but I like it, and I definitely hope it becomes a trend.

Mostly-Awesome Things Of Recent, in chronological order:
  • Murder Mystery birthday party for [livejournal.com profile] herince_emyn was good fun, and she and [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap had an awesome dinner spread ready for all of us! Lots of good eating and good laughs.
  • Derby class is getting better. I think I hurt my hip flexor a bit sometime mid-last week, so snowplows hurt like a mother, but I'm definitely sucking less at stopping. Still not great at it, but improving.
  • Wedding on Saturday went fine. Portraits were chaotic, as they often are, but everything else was fine, and having [livejournal.com profile] katlyn there helping me out improved my state of mind immensely. Also: staying in on a Saturday night?! Shut yo' mouf! (seriously, though, it was exactly what the doctor ordered)
  • Veronica Mars Breakfast Land, heh. [livejournal.com profile] marykae fed us well, and Sunday's viewing had some of the best episodes of Season 2. And that's saying something, because they're all awesome. Only bummer was that I got sad for a while, after saying goodbye to Andrew before he headed back towards Wisconsin.
  • Fortunately, I was cheered up quickly when I met up with Kenna for Trek in the Park! I am so, so glad I caught this last performance, because it was thoroughly enjoyable. And I cannot even *begin* to express how excited I am that they're tackling the Mirror Universe for next summer's performances!
  • I was invited to a group dinner afterwards, by a Dude From The Internets. Dude may be lacking the necessary cojones to actually date me, b/c he didn't seem to try very hard to engage me, but he did have his hands full with hosting. He was considerate and cooked an excellent meal, at least.
  • I also received an offer from a fine, Not-From-The-Internets gentleman I met recently, who wants to take me to the zoo and dinner this weekend, and he is definitely not short on cojones. In fact, he is bringing the directness and honesty in the most excellent way possible.
  • And finally? Partnership is AWESOME. After various dramas and difficulties in the past, I had almost forgotten, but when you put the right sorts of people together, amazing things can happen. I really need to write more about this soon, but DUDE. Excitement!
And, it's Tuesday. ALL DAY. Jeebus. Back to work!
Gah, so much life-altering (or at least, potentially-life-altering) madness going on right now. I can't even TELL you guys.

No, seriously, I can't. I have too much work to do. :p

So, instead, I will give you this pretty picture from Sunday to look at:


Also, StarCraft II came out yesterday, and I couldn't resist stopping at Best Buy to get me some of that action. So far... the intro was very pretty. Unfortunately, I don't know more than that, because the game is refusing to play nicely with my Mac Pro, so I haven't yet gotten past the BNet login without the whole blasted thing crashing. I spent half an hour or so trying to find the problem, but by then it was midnight, so I gave up and went to bed. ANGRYPANTS.
I brought my camera to W00tstock, and it was rad. I was stuck in my seat towards the back of the theater for the duration, and there was a very tall person with a gigantic head sitting in front of me, so there wasn't much leeway for artistically-compelling shots. (and don't get me started on stage lighting... jeesh)

BUT, it was a darned good time, so here are just a few of my photos from the show:



And my personal favorite, for its moment-ness:


The rest of them are here. The show was incredibly hilarious, entertaining, and wholly enjoyable, and there was so much verbal interest and wit that photos just can't quite convey. Y'all know that I heart Wil Wheaton pretty much forever, but I think Matt Fraction and Adam Savage may have stolen the show for me. I really, really enjoyed what they had to share.

Still, the whole thing was completely kick-ass, and laughter is such powerful and healing force. Nerd victory? YES.
Three words: COLONEL. WILMA. DEERING.

And, naturally, I make this decision AFTER commenting to [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap less than two hours ago, "the only time you will see me wearing that much white is at the wushu school." OF COURSE. ;)

(not to mention, making the helmet could get interesting...)

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