Happy News

Jul. 1st, 2012 07:58 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Everyone's mix CDs came in on time, big thanks to those of you who put in extra effort, and the packages for the out-of-towners will be going out Monday. We have five very different themes, all of which look fascinating. Now I can finally listen to them!

I'll have some extras for people at ConVergence of my mix, and I understand Baron Dave will as well.

Also, I won a Good Samaritan award at work, which is given out by the previous winner in our department to who has been the most helpful in their opinion. I got cited for my United Way raffle basket. So now I get to display a Samaritan statuette at my desk for July, and think about who to pass it on to at the end. (Those of you who've read Astro City will understand why being compared to Samaritan is a double-edged compliment.)

Hope you are all as well can be expected,
SKJAM!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I decided to ask my family to give me wish lists for upcoming birthdays/Christmas as I am off to ConVergence in early July. This is mostly for the kids, of course, but my sister made a request that I might have a little trouble with.

She likes the novels of Joshilyn Jackson, who has just put one out called "A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty." Except that reading the synopsis leads me to believe that it's not going to be on sale at a SF convention, even one as multi-media as ConVergence.

So what I'm looking for is books/films that are like Joshilyn Jackson's work, but would be on sale where I'm going to be buying. (I understand that the Sookie Stackhouse series is also about quirky Southern women, but is it otherwise similar in a pleasing way?)

Thanks in advance for your consideration!
skjam: (Communications)
The initial selection for panels at ConVergence 2012: Wonder Women is up, and I've put in my request for a few to be seated on.

_High Priority_
Heroines of Anime and Manga (I proposed this topic.)
Homemakers are Awesome (I also proposed this topic.)
DC Reboot (Did not propose this one, but am a huge DC fan.)
New Manga in English (Also a huge manga fan)

_Less Priority_
Anime 101
The Most Annoying Female Character Ever
Transformative Works
Moral Choices for Strong Heroines
Naming Characters
Why Is Wonder Woman In Development Hell?


Naturally, I am hoping that other people will join the panels I proposed so they can actually be on the final schedule.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
ConVergence was fun. The Sofitel has industrial strength curtains in its rooms.

Frank Merriwell Down South (1903)Frank Merriwell Down South by Burt L. Standish

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


This is the fifth of the long-running Frank Merriwell series of exciting books for boys. (See my review for "Frank Merriwell's School Days", the first of the series.) In this volume, following on directly from the cliffhanger in "Frank Merriwell's Trip West," our hero first searches for a lost Silver Palace in Mexico. After that, he travels to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and must solve the mystery of the Queen of Flowers. This is followed by a sojourn in the Florida Everglades and a white canoe that paddles itself, and finally an encounter with moonshiners in the mountains of Tennessee.

To be honest, this book feels like four short stories loosely stitched together more than a proper novel. And I am given to wonder if they weren't first serialized in a magazine first--at least one of the chapters ends in a cliffhanger that would work better if one had to wait an entire week for the outcome, not a mere quarter of the way into a bound volume.

The first story was my least favorite and brought my rating down by a full star. The antiquated ethnic stereotypes shift from "19th Century, you so crazy" to the stench of racism with the depiction of Mexicans. Even the compulsively decent Frank is seen to say "One Yankee is good for six greasers." That aside, the ending was very weak, with the climax taking place off-screen and one of Frank's archenemies killed off in a couple of lines.

The second story likewise ends weakly, with the antagonist killed off before his plotline can be resolved, and another character's motivation explained with "Frank later learned that...."

The third story is much stronger, with a weird feel to the mysterious goings-on, but does suffer from one too many amazing coincidences. There's an unknown species of maneating plant at one point, for those who like a bit of fantasy in their stories.

The fourth story is much enlivened by one of the better female characters in the series, Kate Kenyon, and manages the coincidences much better.

Not particularly recommended due to the first story, if you are sharing this with a younger reader it's best to discuss why that sort of cheap ethnic stereotyping isn't acceptable anymore.



View all my reviews

Happy Fourth of July!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Here's a list of the panels I've signed up for at ConVergence 2011-- actual schedule yet to be determined.

Comics and Manga - not just for Six Year Olds

Social Commentary in Comics

The Legion of Super Heroes

Beginning Gamemastering

Overexposed Characters

Femme Fatales of the Pulps

How the Pulps Saw the Future

Interesting Bad Guys

Terrorists of the Pulp Era

----

And one I suggested that may be scheduled if it gets enough interest...

_Retro and Historical Anime and Manga_

Description: Steam Detectives, Steamboy, Emma: A Victorian Romance and many other anime/manga titles look to the past, or a future that looks like the past. Come discuss your favorites, where they do well and where liberties have been taken.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Christmas happened. It was good to see the family again, and much fun was had. The gift I gave out that seemed the most awesome was a volume of Amerlia Rules for the youngest niece. She was already halfway through when it came time for her to leave.

They'd changed the bus schedules so my bus back to the Cities left about noon; the folks and I had brunch in the Banning Junction cafe. Sadly, it seems that business is down, and that part of the restaurant is now closed and looking for someone to rent.

Snow and cold continue to dominate the weather.

I missed getting a room in the Sheraton for ConVergence; the room committee has acknowledged my request for a Sofitel room, but no guarantees, and I won't find out for a while if it took. I do have a room for Anime Detour though.

Work is tolerable. My supervisor went to Nicaragua for a couple of weeks and brought back souvenirs; I'll be regifting the coffee.

Oh, and back to Christmas for the moment, I sent out all the wishlist items, finally. I hope everyone got them okay. I was very pleased with several mix CDs, some candy, books and so forth. Thanks, internet!

For hobby stuff, I have been "liveblogging" the Republic movie serial "Zorro's Fighting Legion" over on the TV Tropes website. Take a look: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=12921152820B27780100&i_id=12921152820I27781900&p=1
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I don't know if anyone outside my immediate family still reads these, but just in case, here's a slightly late look at my Fourth of July weekend.

Bring On the Bad Guys )
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
And the weekend begins for me.

Hope to see some of you at the convention, for those I don't, have a safe and fun weekend, with any fireworks at just the right distance for enjoyment.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
The BCP (Bankruptcy, Consumer Credit Counseling and Probate) Department moved on Friday. We went from the third floor to the fifth, with our new Risk Management peers. Unfortunately, the moving people got delayed or there just weren't enough of them, as by the end of the day, most of our computers and personal paperwork hadn't made it upstairs. So instead of spending the last hour of Friday getting ready to start first thing Monday morning, we're going to spend the first hour of Monday trying to get ready before the phones go live.

It's a secure floor, so we will really need to have our badges handy to move around, even just to hit the restrooms. Also, the escalator doesn't come up that far, so the elevators and stairwell are chokepoints.

We have a new employee incentive store (gain X amount of Bullseye Bucks and cash in for prizes)--they gave us all $25 as a starter, only for us to discover that inflation has set in, and candy bars cost $100. It'll be a while before I get any good prizes, even if I do well in the evaluations.

Looking forward to ConVergence; hope to see a few of you there, there's still a couple of spots on the Villains of Anime and Manga panel if you'd like to be a panelist.

The U's anime club, MAS, is starting showings again this Thursday, and for a change I have a show to suggest. (first week will be voting on possible shows for the rest of summer.) "Living for the Day After Tomorrow," aka Asatte no Houkou.

Oh, and this coming Saturday is Free RPG Day, and the Source will be participating for the first time.

Also for local folks, you may want to check out the Saved By The Bell show at the Bryant Lake Bowl. I know a couple of the people involved (you may remember them from "Hamluke") and I understand an actual cast member of Saved By the Bell (The TV version) will be attending at least one of the showings.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
The Programming folks at ConVergence have issued a partial schedule with the panels that have enough people. "Gunpowder and Bloodshed: Dark Heroes of the Pulps" and "Villains of Manga and Anime" aren't on there yet.

So, if you're going to ConVergence and would like one or the other of these panels to be run, please consider actually signing up as a panelist so they can get on the schedule.

Thanks for your attention!

Good News!

Mar. 9th, 2010 09:19 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
My hotel reservation for ConVergence has finally come through, so barring some major recanting on the part of the hotel or the concom, I will be able to control my own timeline at the convention.

Speaking of which, ConVergence Programming has started taking requests for seating on possible panels. These are the ones I've penciled in as wanting to be on (as opposed to just attending.)

* Villains of Anime and Manga
* Gunsmoke and Bloodshed: Dark Heroes of the Pulps
(I suggested both these panels in the first place, so it was kind of mandatory that I sign up to help make them happen.)
* Disney Villains
* Giant Atomic Monsters
* Villains in Role-Playing Games
* Behind the Sofa: Villains of Doctor Who
* The Pulps
* Current Popular Manga
* Bring Me Up To Speed (a comics panel)
* Old Time Radio

I might sign up for more when the "on the bubble" list comes out.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I'm off to ConVergence tomorrow!

It looks to be a busy weekend, with seven panels to be on.

3:30 PM Thursday: Diversity in Comics--First panel slot of the convention, but I am bringing a handout prepared with the help of the folks at Girl-Wonder.org. One of two panels I'll be sharing with Dwayne McDuffie, woot!

12:30 PM Friday: Gaming Etiquette. Should be a very polite panel.

2:00 PM Friday: Humor in Superhero Comics. A long historic tradition.

5:00 PM Friday: Old Time Radio. I hope to do my radio announcer voice.

8:30 PM Friday: Manga and Graphic Novels. Compare and contrast.

11:00 AM Saturday: Justice League Past, Present and Future. The other panel starring Mr. McDuffie. This one might be a bit awkward.

3:30 PM Sunday: What's Wrong with the Japanese? A look at some of the more...interesting aspects of Japanese entertainment culture. This is in the A/V room, so will have pictures! And it's the last panel slot at the con, so everyone will be pleasantly exhausted.

In between times, I'll be attending other panels, checking out the art show and huckster rooms, and if I am very lucky meeting old and new friends. I won't be around in the wee hours though, as I have to catch the shuttle bus over to the Crowne Plaza to sleep.

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