more SCA stuff ( less ranty more thoughtful)

One of the issues that arises fairly regularly is people feeling they are being overlooked for awards. This does happen because the award system is so arbitrary, relying on word of mouth from other people. I think there is a trend which allows for the belief that those with the awards are more important than those who are not loaded down with titles, pointy hats, letters and scrolls. So there seems to be too much emphasis on awards and not enough on the fun. If a person begins to feel they do not get anything for their work while others do they start to see their work as worthless. Sadly this screws up the whole point of an award reward system.

The sad thing is that no one is important and everyone is important. Without the whole the group is nothing. Every person who contributes is vital. So how do you reward this? For me it was by trying to individually thank each scribe that worked for the kingdom while I was Signet with a letter once a year. I’m sure I missed people and probably upset more than my fair share of folks but I tried really hard to let at least the scribes know that what they did mattered a lot. Saying thank you goes a very long way no matter what the service is and it doesn’t need to be in award form.

I think we lose perspective after a certain period of time about why we are doing this, and we forget it’s just a hobby and it’s meant to be fun. Those crowns are not real gold, the kingdom is just pretend and on Monday we all head back to work and real life ensues. When we start playing to be rewarded rather than being rewarded by playing and having fun the hobby becomes a job. I’m not sure how we undo this particular learned behaviour but I do think that if we go into it expecting to be lauded and rewarded for everything we do we set ourselves up for disappointments.

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And it’s another one of THOSE posts…( bad language ensues)

I swear a LOT in this post so if you don’t like swearing I suggest you don’t read this. It’s loud, mouthy and opinionated. You have been warned.

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The Society for Creative Anachronism, better know as the SCA is in flux. Today on three separate facebook conversations this topic came up. One person announced they’d had enough and wanted to chuck it, another posed the question why this is and another, in chat, discussed with me the concept of giving stuff ( in this case art) away for free and why it sorta sucks.

When I joined the SCA some 20+ years ago now it was fun, I was 19 or 20 and I wasn’t involved in anything other party, boys, cool clothes and fun. I served at events and sometimes helped do small stuff but mainly it was fun. Politics came later. Politics is a polite way of saying clashes with other people and their ideas ( or lack of them) etc.

I’ve been through my fair share of SCA related bullshit. I won’t bother to list it all here I’d be writing a 600 page novel and no one wants to read that but I do have some thoughts on why it’s currently, particularly here in Europe more than a little fucked up.

1. This is a huge volunteer run group which pays the US for a membership without any real or see-able benefits especially now that our paper newsletter is being removed. Yes there are insurances etc but for the average lay person, the new membership hike ( incidentally to cover a US based lawsuit over what is essentially greed) and the rising costs of events and travel are prohibitive. (I’ll get to event costs in a bit)

When you have people paying a membership fee and volunteering their time and money these people expect a certain return. I don’t know that this is being met. Right now for us the ONLY reason we are still paid members is we hold offices, other than that we’d have let the membership fee go. You do not have to be a paid member to play. You do have to pay if you want to hold an office. ( there are other reasons as well but I don’t care about them so we’ll just skip all that, you can go look up the rules on the SCA.org page if you want.

Holding an office is a volunteer thing. You don’t get paid for it and it’s a thankless, shitty job most of the time. This is made all the harder when offices are not handed over properly so that files and information are not available to the new officer making the job even harder and more frustrating than it has to be.  No one really polices the hand over of offices and it’s lapsed into a kind of anarchy. I’ve taken over two in the last 8 months ( I think) or more and both offices I have NO files, no useful information and am sitting blind.  So one office will be gone sooner than later I hope and the other one, we’ll have to see how that goes. But this sort of BS doesn’t make for a happy volunteer. WORKING an office should be easy not a fucking uphill struggle. Training and hand overs should be done with minimum of effort to make the person coming into the office feel at ease not frustrated or unwelcome. (you weren’t my first choice but no one else wanted the office is also a line I suggest one never utters out loud either)  The person taking over should not have to ask and beg and remind the person leaving the office for all the files and info. It should NOT HAPPEN THIS WAY AT ALL. No wonder no one wants to do these jobs. What a freaking headache. So it’s hard to find replacements because really..who needs this sort of crap? We get enough of that in our real lives and work ( well I don’t cuz my real life job is fucking awesome and my co workers and my bosses are amazing and I get paid) we do not need it in our free time and hobby.

2. Events. This is a hobby and it should be fun. When you come to an event bear in mind that everyone working at this event is doing so on a volunteer basis so when you sit at a table and announce you won’t do any clean up at all because it’s your fucking holiday you’re NOT exactly adding to the festive feelings.  We ( the general volunteer populace) are not here to serve you. Even the people with the titles and the pointy hats need to remember this. Please and thank you GO A LONG FUCKING WAY.  Those people who are running the event are not your personal servants. ( no matter how period it may be to have slaves and servants in today’s world it’s not kosher). If you don’t like how things are being run, done, etc… get off yer arse and do something about it. Or leave. ( try not to let that great big huge oak door whack your ass on the way our either we don’t want to damage the door)

It’s a pretty simple thing. the more people who pitch in and help out where they can the more fun and play time everyone has. Bending the backs of those who already give tons of their time and soul and knowledge and then bitching about everything that doesn’t go your way..dude..just leave okay. I’m serious, go find a vacation paradise that caters to your every whim, it will make you a whole lot happier.

Events in Drachenwald can be really magical as well because they usually encompass an entire weekend so you get bed and board for Fri-sun. I don’t really know of any other kingdom that does this with the same regularity that we do so when I hear people bitch about how expensive it is I want to scream.

Expensive…in today’s world is NOT paying under 100 euro per person for 2 nights, hot showers ( mostly) and food. This is nothing.  You want expensive … try going to fedcon.  I see would be event stewards and groups go mad trying to find cheap, period full service sites to cater to the whims of the whiners. Same goes for the people who organize the food. Everyone and their dog seems to have food allergies or dislikes and I’ve seen people have a full blown meltdown because they couldn’t eat a dish out of a 7 course meal at an event due to an allergy. Really?  If you have allergies bring extras for yourself, stuff you can and do like to eat, do what we do and  go off site and eat something, or don’t pay for feast and eat off board but pulling a hairy tantrum only serves to make the people who cook go…what cook for that lot? Again? No fucking way…. I used to enjoy cooking in the SCA but I wouldn’t be a head cook for all the tea in china any more. If food is served that I can’t eat or don’t like you know what I do? I don’t eat it, that’s what I do. I say no thanks to the server and eat some more of something I do like. In the end this means more for someone else.

If you don’t a particular site don’t go to that event. If it’s too expensive go to a less expensive one nearby. Start smaller local events, etc….

So events are too expensive, the food is never perfect…it’s always the same people doing stuff ( one of my favourite sentences in the world) and then when the people who used to do the work stop they get called lazy, or told they are “resting on their laurels”. In the SCA you cannot win. When it got back to me that I was doing too many scrolls for the kingdom the solution was pretty easy. I stopped. I can spend my time elsewhere and get paid for it. ( which I did yay me) But I happen to like doing scroll art and the SCA is a great place to practice so I’m back at it.

3. Free art: Yes I hear this a lot and I agree with it to a certain extent. My take on it is this. I don’t cook, or clean or do other service stuff but I make scrolls. Scrolls which take my time, energy and equipment and that’s my service contribution to the volunteer side of the SCA. It’s not my problem that someone else doesn’t get this and bitches because they never see me doing “real” service. It doesn’t seem to dawn on them that I may not spend half an hour helping in the kitchen because i spent 40 hours at home working on scrolls so I see the event as my down time. It’s not free art. I worked very hard to contribute to the group. The art is my contribution. End of discussion. Anyone who thinks I don’t do enough service for the SCA and the kingdom can go fuck themselves politely in a cupboard somewhere.

4. recruitment.  We need to work on this big time. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again. It starts with the website and right now ours is awful.  Instead of being touted as a fun, easy to start off in medieval recreation group we sound like a bunch of boring scholars all trying to out costume or award each other.  It’s not easy to find information, the information available is pretty blah and with all the medieval groups in Germany alone who the hell would choose us first? I and my husband have a bunch of ideas on recruitment but no one is interested so we apply this to our other hobbies ( online guilds and the 501st)

There is a lot of why bother going on these days. I do understand it. The award system doesn’t help. That in itself is a post so I won’t touch it here but it fails on as many levels as it works.

The SCA got selfish and insular. Less about partying and having a great time and more about snobbery and who has more bling and titles.  I have heard so many people complain about how other people have such great garb and how unfair it is… uhmmm dude you know they made it themselves right? Or about how it’s always the same people getting awards…. well that might be because it’s always the same people doing the work. Jealousy and apathy seem to be the two major issues we have and I don’t know how to fix this.

People get burned out a lot because let’s face it who wants to be the constant worker bee? 

I do know that I have decided that from now on I do what is fun. Fun encompasses a lot of different things for me but being dicked around isn’t one of them. So I will speak my mind on the BS that pisses me off, I will do my damnedest to help my scribes and support them in their arty efforts, I will avoid contact with the people who drive me crazy and I will remember this is a hobby and  I do it for fun. If it’s not fun I’m walking away.

and that’s really the biggest thing I see wrong with the SCA. We forgot it was a hobby and it was supposed to be fun. We got spoiled and we got mean and very self centred.

and yeah I’m going for queen bitch of the universe with this post so award me my pretend pointy hat so I can be a pretend ruler in a pretend kingdom wearing long out of fashion dress-up clothes and hope that people take me seriously enough to fall down to their knees and worship my every breath because booya I IS IMPORTANT!

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Aftermath

I’m getting older and my body is showing this by taking a lot longer to recover from stuff than it used to. That being said… Legoland 2012 was awesome.

We drove up early because we’d agreed to a Friday troop. Starting earlier = way more fun in my books so after manic packing and a few moments of omgdowehaveeverything we were off.

It takes us around 3.5 hours to drive to Billund so not long at all and I’m always struck by the fact that we suddenly go from one country to another with only a sign to let us know this has happened. No customs, no border guards, no TSA like goons, nothing just a road, a sign and a different language and oh yeah a speed limit.

I was finishing the hand sewing on the last of the hats I promised I would make ( imperial officer hats) so that kept me busy but other than that the trip was uneventful and nice.

Driving to Billund!

hats!

Legoland is huge. But we did this last year so this year we knew the ropes. We arrived at the camping place and were met by the other early birds. It’s a glorious feeling to be welcomed with hugs and smiles by people, that in reality, one barely knows but through facebook and forums has a great friendship with.
We got our key, dumped our stuff, some hats were quickly nabbed and then eventually we got dressed and went to troop in the park on a Friday. Glorious and then it started to rain – typical.

Once we got back from the troop we dried off, changed and then kinda of partied for a bit then settled down with our cabin mates and friends to play star wars trivial pursuit. I have not laughed so hard in ages. And it amazes me how people I really only barely know could feel like such close comrades and freinds, almost family. But trooping is hard work and we all put so much time and effort into our costumes that it bonds us together. We’re all there for one purpose and that’s to troop and bring smiles to the faces of kids and parents alike. There are no big awards, no payments, no real hierarchy there are just smiles and a lot of very cool pictures.

Andrew and the pink cap of awesomeness. ( he didn’t win though)

We stayed up quite late but not too late and the next day it was go go go. We all had breakfast like last year in the main legoland cantina and then it was off to the changing tent which this year was in a different location. Big downer was the dirt floor. We all have to change costumes and a dirt floor + rain even with a tent = unhappy people.  Someone found dry cardboard boxes later on in the day and that helped but next year I hope this idea changes to something more suitable.

This year Jake Lloyd was there as a guest and this changed things around a bit with the parade being bumped up and too much standing around.  But still cool. Once we had done the parade through the park it was troop time for me and my squad.

Lima Squad

We had a lot of fun but it was incredibly crowded on Sat afternoon and our supporter was new and had some problems wrangling crowd and us. ( In full mask costume especially as a tusken you see NOTHING) He kept wanting to go back but I said no. We found a place to park and let people come to us for pictures then after that we headed back to the change tent.

I had a lot of fun with my Tusken husband this year. ( did last year too but different guy) We play to the crowd, we pretend to be curious about stuff the parents have on them especially if the kids are a little nervous because it makes them laugh. This year I got my 1st kid hug. Seriously a kid ran up to Sigge and I and hugged us both fiercely. Who the hell hugs tusken raiders? It was a teary moment for me. This is the main thing that really sticks out when you do this star wars 501st troop stuff. The absolute love for the characters that people have, it’s almost overwhelming at times. On Sunday a little girl gave me her blankie which I took, hugged then gave back. Another awwwwww moment.

Saturday afternoon we paraded again, big parade all the members there and lots of people in the park, huge thing. We parked it by the big stage for photos and then it was off duty. Change and dinner.

Dinner and speeches.

It’s a buffet style meal we pre pay for and it’s well worth every cent/ Kroner. Once drink orders are taken and food is eaten come the speeches which are always fun and some things are given out, also always cool and then slowly people head back to camp to party. We had a fun time just walking back to the huts. You don’t have to be nuts to be a 501st member but it seriously adds to the fun.

The party went on a long time. This time in difference to my usual habits I stayed up really late chatting with a really good friend and getting to know more people. I floated about, partook in the ritual of Salmiaki and for the first time in a long time felt very comfortable and happy just being apart of something big without any mass politics – yes they are there but not for me. I really like the fact that this is many countries worth of people all hanging out and having fun. Next morning ( hut 46) we were ALL late and it was freaking pouring. Good that Marcus and I brought along two really huge umbrellas.

Sunday’s troop was a lot more low key, people were tired and the weather was crappy. Cold and rainy is so typical for Billund that this year I actually made waterproof tusken boots which is very ironic all things considered. In the morning before parade and troop I had a few moments of free time so the Dutch garrison guys decided that Thomas, Sigge and I should go on the blizzard express with them. I have not been on any sort of a roller coaster in years I can’t handle the G-forces any more. But this was all good! In fact I enjoyed it so much I went a 2nd time! ( yay us)

The dutch try to kill me with a roller-coaster

Parade and then trooping and then a very short break then more trooping then another parade. It was almost too much. Both days our squad was scheduled with parade the direct troop so both days we missed lunch. Luckily someone made sure there was food when we returned but still. I think we should actually have a proper 1/2 hour lunch break after the parade. It would help a bit  with the feeling of go go go and also make sure everyone eats. These are just some minor suggestions for making it better next year. After the last parade everyone who is still there packs up and goes home and it’s a bit weird as we all sort of dribble away. Luckily for us our very good friends from the Swiss garrison were staying with us for a few days so our event / troop feeling lasts longer and the comedown is not so hard but still, wiped out and a little down it’s taken me ages to get this post up.

group shot

This is a troop which is permanently on our to do calendar. these people are remarkable and this event is, aside from some small issues, amazingly awesome.  It is an honour and a privilege to troop with these people.

I could say so much more, tell so any more stories but that would mean writing a book so for the rest of the pictures you can go here. legoland 2012

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Legoland 2012

Legoland 2012

for those not on facebook.

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irreconcilable differences

 In which I ramble and spout thoughts.

Back when things were fun.

Yesterday a very good and dear friend came to hang out, chat and do that coffee / cake thing. It was awesome. I’m glad to see her start to get her mojo again. She went through a really rough time ( not my story to tell) and had more than a few people tell her some really mean things, again not my story to tell.  We met through the SCA and about 80% of our conversation was about the SCA. I realised after she had gone home that I didn’t really have a lot of nice things to say about this hobby and where it currently is anymore.

I’ve been playing SCA since I was 19 more or less and I’m 46 now so do the math. When I started I was a wild thing more interested in fun, booze and boys than anything else. My relationship with this hobby for the first 8- 10 years was mostly pure fun. Then I had a falling out with a couple of people who hurt me, deeply, so deeply that it still hurts and I still wonder why they did what they did to me. It’s ancient history and I’ve mostly let it go but that sting, that twinge of why didn’t you guys just be honest and say something up front is still there. I remember clearly feeling very betrayed by EVERYONE and I walked away, I also had other things to worry about, like school and stuff.

Now I am sure I’ve also hurt my fair share of people and done more than my fair share of really stupid things so I try to keep this in mind when I get on an SCA  downer but I must admit lately it seems to be getting harder and harder for me to just enjoy it.

My favourite SCA times are from Newfoundland, the shire with the unspeakable name at the edge of the world. In my memory, in spite of some major lows, these were the very best years ever. The whole shire brunched together every single Sunday and were were friends, lovers, mates, etc…. we were family and I think my biggest problem is I want THAT feeling back.

It occurred to me as I lay in bed this morning thinking about this that my biggest problem right now is I feel as though I don’t belong any more. I’m an out dated fossil whose time has passed. I don’t think this is actually true but it does sum up how I feel. Displaced and out of time ( as in wrong place and time).

It’s hard to be in the SCA in Germany. The central region seems to be all tiny groups and divisive bitching. People vying for awards and pats on the head.  Many people seem to view the award system with being important.  The more shinies you have the more important you are. I think this has been a problem in the SCA for a long time but it’s very prevalent here and I wish people would understand that really no one is important and everyone is important. This is a hobby not a job. ( at least it shouldn’t be a job at all)

There’s no real sense of community here. We had that once when we first formed the shire, there were six of us, close friends and working together. The stars on the Shire device represents each of us. Every time I see the shire device I am reminded of where we began and why and when I see what we have become it makes me sad. I am partly to blame though and I know this but changing that seems to be too big of a task and I don’t want to be caught in the middle of a never ending struggle for power brought on by jealousy.

Aventiure: the six stars for the six founding members Skarf, Leo, Marcus, Maeva, Ele and me. It’s black and white to remind us that everything story has two sides and that while it may appear so not everything is black and white.

My lack of enthusiasm and my unwillingness to change seem to go hand in hand with the general malaise. I would hold A&S stuff at my house but quite honestly there are people I just do not want in my home. Is this evil? I don’t think so, maybe it’s me being mean but at least I think it’s an honest answer.

But groups grow and divide as is their nature and couples split causing lines of division. Alliances shift and change and somehow things never quite seem the same. Right now, for me, here in this place it’s like white noise in my head. I’m not the only person who has noticed this club, our hobby, isn’t what it once was. law suits and risings costs, rules and regulations, and a general lack of ability to keep up with the technological times seem to be huge issues. One only has to look at the websites of many kingdoms and shire to see just how lacking we are. Given that the first impression of a club now is their webpage, who the hell would join us? When I compare how we present who we are and what we do with how the 501st does I truly despair. We look like a bunch of boring, disorganized bureaucrats.  We don’t really present the club’s strengths and it doesn’t surprise me that we don’t pick up new members all that much. We don’t really show off an enticing, exciting face. We have so much going for us as a club but oddly enough on first blush all people really see are the dull bits.

the 501st

http://www.sca.org/

http://www.drachenwald.sca.org/index_new.php

So I pare down my SCA dealings to good friends and my SCA family, when I get a chance to see them, or hear form them as they are all over the known world. I took on one office to pull friends out of a bind but really in retrospect I shouldn’t have. I asked for advice and help and got none. Then when help did come, surprisingly from an unexpected source I no longer cared. It angers me that I’ve let my apathy creep in. I don’t like doing a bad job of things yet here I am doing a bad job. So what did I do? I took on a second job. I took on Signet but that will be fun, it’s a job I know and like.

So I’m drifting.  I feel as though I no longer belong, as though I no longer have a place. I am aware that the only person who can really change this is me and that all of my ennui is entirely my own. I am aware that only I can make myself happy and only I can enjoy the hobby at hand. I stay away from events because I don’t feel the need to infect the world at large with my unhappiness. I stay away from events because the last few times with one exception it felt to me as though I were an unwelcome annoyance ( not true I’m sure but perception is everything sometimes) We create our own reality. I certainly create mine. Irreconcilable differences. After such a long time I wonder if it is possible to just go back to holding hands and laughing at silly things.

pennsic 15. When we were young and life was less complicated.

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some fedcon pictures

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FedCon 2012

It’s hard to sum up an entire convention, it’s highs and lows and nuances in a short blog post, yet at the same time I don’t really want to bore people to death with minutia.

We drove to Düsseldorf on Thursday and it was a surprisingly easy drive down, most of the usual death-race 2000 drivers must have stayed at home. We arrived, missed the turn to the hotel parking so we ended up going around in a HUGE circle and finally made it.

Last year we stayed off campus and it sucked. If you want to do the costume thing you need to have a hotel room pretty well on site. So this year we booked with the Sheraton almost a year in advance and got a decent rate. It’s a 4 star hotel that is pretty damned nice.

We got sort of checked in but we arrived early so the room wasn’t ready. So we headed over to the con to get lined up and heck in there too.  The first people we bump into are our SCA friends Marie and Ove ( YAY) much girl squeeing ensued much to the amusement of the men folk.

The line up was quick and painless. We got our con passes and bags ( very nice this year)  and then we went back to our hotel to check in and unpack.

We had multiple costumes this year – our 501st crew and my tusken, doctor who (the 10th doctor and a clockwork droid from The Girl in the Fireplace) and the ever reliable StarGate cammo BDUs.

Thursday we attended Tery Rothery’s panel which was very sweet, she’s very funny and hella cute, opening ceremonies which once again Joe Flanagan missed. ( this is a running gag now I think) and then we left to find the bar. I couldn’t sit any more since we’d had the long car drive and the Maritim seats are not SOOO comfy. Plus due to the fact that a certain husband of mine waited so long to book fedcon we had shitty seats anyway. Being short in Germany sucks since there is ALWAYS someone tall sitting in front of me and all I see is someone’s head.

We found the bar, some friends and the DJ played awfully good music so we danced. It was my friend Sonja’s birthday and the atmosphere was awesome. I did something I don’t usually do and that was actually have a couple of the watery pre made cocktails – not so smart. Then I went mad dancing all bounce and energy all over the place which sent my low blood pressure up suddenly and then when I went to bed it dropped to the point of making me sick with a massive headache.

The next morning at the crack of dawn I found myself sick as a dog, shivery, dizzy and with a migraine the size of Manhattan. I took a pain killer then 15 minutes later I threw it up and that was that for the day. Not hung over just ill. This has happened before, my blood pressure drops and I’m dead on the bathroom floor wondering why it is every time I stand up I’m ill. I could understand it better if I was drinking my face off but I don’t do that any more. It was just the over excitement more than anything else. The end result was I have no recollection of Friday beyond weird fever dreams and staying in bed and Marcus being loving popping in and out to check up on me and bringing me a Flüchwege T-shirt. I lost a whole day. But damned the DJ played great tunes and between Man o War and Rammstein  a girl just has to dance, you know.

Saturday:
Morning was autograph session so we costumed it. Star wars first, then because we had to be at a photoshoot the official 501ststuff, which for me this year was my tusken. There’s nothing anyone can say to convince me that there is a better organised costume club than the 501st. man even with a smaller number of people this year we look sharp.

After the parade and photos we went back to the hotel and changed into the doctor who stuff. This was awesome. Marcus makes a darned good 10th Doctor and people loved the clockwork droid costume. So all around a bit success and made me happy to use a costume I had made years and years ago.

The afternoon we changed into easy to wear stargate BDUs and saw William Shatner followed by Richard Dean Anderson. Both a lot of fun. William Shatner was a treat but he’s William Shatner and we got exactly what I expected we would. He was funny, rambily and on the whole delightful. I was especially delighted when he went to see the people in the second room, the ones who did not have weekend tickets and would be watching him on a screen instead, he was kind to do that, pop in say hi and be seen for real.  RDA was also fun but this time I think a little sad due to Paul Watson’s arrest.

In the afternoon we also went to see Mattew Bennett though we got there a little late and missed the beginning it was absolutely worth it and then Casper Van Dien who Marcus had told me about earlier. I had missed him on the Friday due to being dead to the world. Both men were gracious and funny, and above all very, very kind to their fans. I was VERY happy not to have missed their last panels. Oddly enough I completely missed Jonathan Frakes, but maybe next time he comes. 

My butt hurt from sitting so we skipped the costume contest this year and went to have a drink and be social. I discovered I was pretty wiped out so we mostly took it easy and left early to crash. So we missed the big rockabilly band which was okay by me, they were good but it’s not really what I want to hear.

Sunday was an easy day, we wandered around in our Star war crew in the morning during the autograph sessions, taking in the costumes and the sights, we bought some very cool hallmark star wars ornaments ( Darth Vaders) and chatted with the dealer guys who were cool and kind.We had a very nice lunch courtesy of Marie and Ove, thanks guys you will never know the world of pain you saved us.

Then we saw Felicia Day who is a delight, every bit as vivacious and fun in real life as she is one the social networks. It’s nice, no it’s awesome to see a geek gamer girl who is gorgeous represent all of us women in the scifi world of geeky girl goddesses. After that was Garrett Wang and Walter Koenig who were also very funny, and then once again William Shatner whose panel was marred for us by two absolute fucktards sitting behind us that did not shut up. I don’t understand why people come into a panel to just sit there and yap all the way through it.

We watched closing ceremonies and it was really touching and a little sad. this is the first time we’ve sat through them usually we’re driving home then. This time we had booked an extra night on the back of the con not the front so we had the time to relax.

After the closing we hung about a bit took some more photos and then went into the small smoke free bar to eat. The service was oddly terrible but the food was great. After this we wandered aimlessly for a bit then went back to our hotel room and proceeded to watch the DVD of The Captain’s Table. I had brought my laptop and speakers to set up so we kinda hung out and maintained that con feeling by watching this one on DVD.

There were many highlights but it’s hard to transcribe those into words and while I can write books I can’t seem to do this very well. For me Fedcon, any con actually is more of an emotional experience than anything else. I go to hangout with like minded people and have fun. I get to small glimpse into the lives of the stars as they answer questions and I’m transported to another word for a few days.

I will say this Garrett Wang has to be one of the BEST MoCs I’ve ever seen. 

I will post pictures later on and try to be more succinct.

a very special thank you to Matthew Bennett who did exactly as he promised and answered the email and sent a BSG final day call sheet. How cool is that?

Klingoff!

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You know it’s just a show right?

We went to FedCon, Europe’s largest sci-fi convention. It’s awesome.
I’m still processing.
bear with me.
I also got really sick and missed all of Friday so …I feel as though I’ve slipped into a weird sort of time slip. There were many highlights and a few lows. Once again I am blessed to get to spend time with wonderful friends and my geek minded husband who is a treasure beyond all treasures.

But here is my clockwork droid. and my tusken.

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Geek goddesses and nerdy Boys.

It’s that time of year again when we pack all out costumes and bits and bobs and head to Düsseldorf to hang out at Europe’s largest Sci-fi convention Fedcon. It’s a freaking blast.

So let’s set the record straight here: I’m 46 years old. I’m a woman and I LOVE dressing up in costumes and what’s more I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks of this.

This is not really a new thing though, I’ve been playing dress-up for as long as I can remember. I never actually grew out of it. Around the age of 19 I joined the SCA and discovered that other people liked to dress up too, okay so it’s medieval clothes but it’s still dress up. Later on I discovered conventions and that, as they say, was that.

I’m excited about the prospect of seeing people in costume and being in costume. It’s fun, pure and simple. For those adults of you out there who have forgotten what fun is and are shaking your head while you read this feel free to leave – don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

I think as grownups, part of our problems in the world begins with this:  we give up our inner child and become seriously stunted. Getting older doesn’t mean giving up fun, doesn’t mean packing away that child like wonder that sees magic everywhere, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean being all serious and boring.

This year we added a new set to our usual costume closet. We’re doing the 10th doctor and a clockwork droid. I’m happy with this because it means I get to recycle a very old costume of mine. A polonaise, 18th C dress I made almost 18 or so years ago now. Usually I use this as my main Vampire costume but it will be just fine as a clockwork droid. Yes I can still fit into it. It’s going to be a riot.

 So we plan on having fun, taking tons of pictures and  getting away from the stress of normal life.

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Friday…

One of the things I hate being told is that “This is the way X is so you will just need to accept it.”

It’s a bullshit statement and if everyone just accepted the way things were we’d still all be living in caves banging rocks together. Change happens because people want to move beyond the constraints of the now into something better. Women got the right to vote because a small group demanded change and started a movement that we are still fighting for to this day. Slavery was abolished, religious freedoms are more widely accepted and so on but all these changes came about because someone somewhere said hey hang on a minute this isn’t right and fought against the status quo.

Telling me to accept things the way they are, telling me that my fight is useless because things are the way they are and they won’t change no matter what I do is a red fucking flag.

You know what it’s a bullshit statement from a scared majority who don’t want things to change because they are perfectly happy with the way things are, they way things run in their favour and change scares the shit out of them.

When I played Star wars Galaxies I railed vehemently against the “NO TRADE” aspect of the game and time and again got told I should just give it up it’s never going to change. Well I and the group of people fighting this with me didn’t give up and eventually we won. The no trade items were reverted back to tradable. It may have only been a game but what it showed me was that no matter what other people say if you, as a human, want change to come, you have to fight for it and you have to be stubborn and persevere.

And this is how I feel about sexism and the objectification of women. Yes sex sells, though not as much as it used to. Women,  well people actually, are slowly growing tired of this. And men, smart men see through it. I get that some males of the species are led by the lower brain but I and many others don’t buy into this BS that this is THE ONLY way to sell stuff, to entice guys to read books or get them interested in a particular subject / object / etc…. I think most men are actually smarter than that.

In the world of Sci-fi and Fantasy the myth that it’s a totally male dominated arena is slowly being busted. Girls and women are a huge force to be reckoned with and while it may be that the jocks with cocks think they rule the roost I think they’d be surprised. Women spend a lot of money on books, clothes and toys and if there were more items available I think they’d see how much more they could make if they start marketing and catering to the female market as well. Until then I will fight for it. I will push against the norm. I won’t accept that I have to take what’s given even if it puts women down or marginalizes them simply because (some) men prefer tits and ass to well written, well thought out, strong female characters. I get this is an uphill battle, I get I may not see significant change in my lifetime but that doesn’t mean I won’t rail against it anyway.

So telling me that this is the way things are and it’s never going to change is only going to strengthen my resolve to initiate and fight for change.  I know change is scary but it’s worth it in the end.

ps. I also tend to get testy when people say I can’t do something because I’m a girl and I’ve fought this one long and hard as well but this would be another post for another day.