mijan: (Jim Kirk)
I woke up this morning, looked in the mirror, and realized that my eyebrows are thick enough to get bed-head.

I personally think that's kinda awesome.  I love my fuzzy eyebrows.  I have traumatic memories of the J.V. girls' basketball team deciding I needed a makeover, and attacking my eyebrows with tweezers.  HORRORS.  And fucking painful.  So I decided to embrace my epically hirsute supra-orbital arches.  So yeah, my eyebrows had bed-head.

I told my wife, and she sporfled, and insisted that I post it on my LJ.  So there you go.  
mijan: (Default)
Whether you celebrate it or not, whether you see it as a religious or secular holiday, much of the "western" world is observing Christmas right now.  So, in the very least, a lot of us have the day off.

Christmas means different things to different people.  We could debate the origins of the traditions, argue religion, and bicker over who owns the day.  We could lament the excessive commercialism, the way it's not inclusive enough of different cultures, and how we've gotten away from the "true meaning of Christmas," whatever that is.  We could even get into a heated rant about how global warming will kill any chance of snow on Christmas anywhere but northern Sweden and the Yukon within ten years, and at the same time balk at the climate train-wrecks causing flooding, blizzards, storms, fires, and other extreme weather incidents around the globe just this week.

But you know what?  I have a personal philosophy about holidays... regardless of whether they're my own holidays or not, or if they're religious or not.  If a holiday gives you a reason to get together with people you love, an excuse to take a time-out from the rush of life and appreciate the small things, or a moment of peace in the middle of a world gone mad... then it can't be a bad thing.  There are pretty lights on the houses, candles in the windows, evergreen branches and red ribbons decorating the nooks and crannies and making everything festive.

So here's how I see Christmas:





Happy Holidays, folks.
mijan: (Default)
This morning, while I was walking to work, I saw one of the guys I know who works in the campus Paint Shop.  They're the folks who essentially do all the painting (walls, ceilings, etc.) around campus.  A great bunch of guys.

This guy was too far up ahead of me for me to wave hi, and he didn't see me, but we were both walking the same blocks in the direction of campus - me from my house, him from his car where he'd parked in my neighborhood. 

On the way, we pass by a Burger King.  I saw him cross the road towards the restaurant, figuring he was going to grab a morning coffee and breakfast there.  Only he wasn't.  He got to the sidewalk, reached down, and picked up what looked like a large rubber mat.  I watched him as he carried the mat across the parking lot and put it down in front of the entrance door to the Burger King. 

Apparently, the mat had blown away from the restaurant somehow, or had been moved by someone.  No idea why it was all the way across the parking lot and out on the sidewalk, but it obviously was out of place.  And this guy, who does not work at the Burger King, and who was hurrying on his way to work, just randomly grabbed it and put it back where it belonged.  He had no idea that anyone was watching him.  He didn't need to do it.  He just did it.

It's nice to know that some people simply do the right thing for the right reason.  It gave me a little bit of hope.

True story.

Dec. 8th, 2010 03:35 pm
mijan: (Default)
On my flist today, someone asked her friends to tell stories that are redeeming of the human race.  And I admit, there are plenty of times when people piss me off so badly that I just wish an asteroid would hit and wipe the slate clean because the human race has become a slovenly mass of epic fail.

But there are good people.  There are stories that remind us of that.  Here's the one I shared with her:

Ten years ago this week, a couple of months before I left for the Army, I was working as the manager of a small candle store in New Hampshire. It was the holiday season, my store was right next to the mall Santa Claus, the Christmas music was loud and obnoxious, and people had been assholes all day.

Then I got this one customer... a little girl, maybe eight years old, shopping with her brother, who was maybe nine. She wanted to buy a candle for her mother, which is why her mother had let them go do this errand themselves while she waited nearby. She had seven dollars, and you could tell that she had saved the money herself. The bills were rumpled and crumpled, the way a kid's money is.

She seemed so sweet and sincere, and I wanted to make sure she got a good candle for her money - something her mother would like, and that she'd be proud to give as a gift. I took the time to show her all the different candles she could afford. She asked me what MY favorite candles were, and I showed her the aromatherapy votives, and showed her my favorite scents. At a dollar each, she could make her mother a set of up to seven. In the end, she settled on this $5 glow-globe candle that lights up from the inside when the wick is lit, making the design glow. I even told her that she can keep using the shell with a tea light, so her mother could keep enjoying it even after it burns down.

I gift-boxed it for free (we were supposed to charge 50 cents for gift boxes), and made sure to thank her for shopping there. She was so mature and proud of herself, buying a Christmas gift for her mom, that I wanted to make sure she was treated with the respect that any customer would deserve, whether spending $5 or $100. She seemed thrilled, and with her box in hand, she hurried off to meet her mother.  I watched her go, feeling a little bit better about my job and humanity in general.  Sweet kid.

About twenty minutes later, she came back and said that she decided she wanted to get two of the aromatherapy votives, too. I thought it was adorable, and that maybe she wanted to get stocking stuffers. She picked the two scents that I'd said were my favorites, and I wrapped them and gift-boxed them. She handed me her last $2... those little rumpled bills... and I rang up the purchase and put the money in the register.

I went to hand her the receipt and the box, but she quickly tucked her hands behind her back, and said, "Those are for you."

Before I could say anything, she ran off into the mall, leaving me standing there, holding a box with two little candles inside, and tears streaming down my face.

That kid is probably somewhere starting college. Maybe she's out there, volunteering at a food pantry, an animal shelter, or writing letters to elected officials. Who knows, but that afternoon, she reminded me that selfless people still exist.

I still have those candles.
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
This is relevant to my interests:



(Psssst... I want one!!!)
mijan: (CRIKEY!)
I'm not sure what you call them, but you know how when you type something into the Google search bar, it'll present a drop-down menu of the most popular options based on the first letters you've typed? 

I was bored to fucking tears today at work (I've been slammed all week, and NOW I get a break?!?), and decided to Google myself by screen name.  I went to Google and typed in "Mijan "... and as soon as I added the space after my name, I got "Mijan Eclipse" as the fourth option down.

I kinda stared at it for a second, not quite sure I was really seeing it, so I deleted and typed my screen name again.  And it happened again.  

So... holy shit.  *grins*

I also bounced a bit when I saw that I got recced on [livejournal.com profile] crackenterprise  today.  SQUEE!  "Crossfire" getting some fandom love, bbs!


In other news... I chopped my hair really short (even for me) and lightened it slightly.  I realized I was getting sick of timing and restricting my haircuts based on which costume I was going to wear at an upcoming convention.  I keep growing it out for the Frodo costume.  WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?  So I chopped it.  I like having a new look.  :D


And now... I'm off to the grocery store to brave the wilds.  We need milk, eggs, and wine for cooking.  *headdesk*
mijan: (Doctor Crusher is NOT amused.)
It looks like the TSA wants to get more personal with me than my doctor does.  Sorry, Security Dude... you're not my type.

By now, I'm sure you've all seen and heard about this.  The full-body scans.  The radiation exposure (and I work with radiation almost every day, and yet I'm still pissed about this).  The excessive patting and groping.  The way people with prosthetics and mobility aids have been subjected to horrible indignities.  And the simple fact that if we don't submit to all this bullshit, we can't fly.  For some of us, the amount of time needed to travel by train or car (think 1000+ miles at a time) is simply not possible.

But at the end of the day, what can we do?  What effective protest do we have against the government choke-hold on the transportation industry and the free transit of free citizens?  This mess was started under Bush and continued under Obama.  It's not partisan... it's just fucking obnoxious.

Here's my suggestion:

STRIP!

Yes, that's right, boys, girls, and fellow others!  Let's get it on.  Sometimes, the best weapon is to directly mock the thing that you're facing down.  They want to see everything, huh?  Let's do it.

Wear a bikini the next time you fly.  Before you head to security, stop by the bathroom.  Change into a bikini.  Wear flip-flop sandals to walk to the security checkpoint.  It doesn't matter if you're male, female, young, old, fat, or thin.  In fact, this would work best if people of all shapes and sizes and descriptions participate.  It's not about being sexy.  That isn't the point. The point is that ALL people going through security are being stripped to nothing, exposed, and violated.  (Plus, if only a group of girls who look like models out of playboy were to do this, then the MESSAGE of the protest would be lost in the oogling. Sad to say.)  The point is demonstrating that everyone is impacted by this. 

Add some pizazz to your act:  Bring a bunch of old hair-product containers that you were just about to dump anyway.  Carry them TO the checkpoint, and "suddenly" realize that you can't bring them through security.  Lament their loss as you drop the bottles into a nearby bin.

But yeah... the bikini.  I think I'm going to do it.  I'm no supermodel.  In fact, I'm not really comfortable in women's clothes.  But hell, this ought to be hilarious (fight oppression with HUMOR!!!), and it should make the point.  Even if you're not comfortable with this plan, or if you're not planning to travel by airplane anytime soon, please pass this on.  If enough people do it, it might send a message... and it might actually be fun.

Anyone else willing to throw this bullshit back in the faces of the TSA?


ETA:  I've edited a few tid-bits for clarity about my intent.
mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)
I went to Microcenter to go prowling for a laptop.   It was random luck that my friend [livejournal.com profile] popefelix happened to be in the store and I saw him as I walked in.  I'd been hoping to get his thoughts and opinions before purchasing a new computer, because - to be blunt - I know shit-all about computers.  I can USE them.  That's about it.  I have no real idea what I'm looking at, nor how to tell if something is a good price for the money.  I have a VAGUE idea, but anyway, it's good to have someone you trust who knows this stuff.  I'm better at buying cars. 

However, I knew I was really happy with my old Acer, and when I saw the new model, it definitely caught my eye.  The observation from my expert friend was that it was a great deal for the price, and the price was within my range... and so now, I have a new laptop.  I also got myself an external hard drive.  

I need to get more comfortable with this keyboard.  It has a slightly different feel, but I think I like it.  And the scroll-bar on the sensor pad is this sleek, slick thing where you just swipe your finger down the side of it and it scrolls.  I know, most of you are probably rolling your eyes, saying, "Duh, that's old news," but my old laptop, Bob, had a button instead.  

Anyway, the guy who helped me purchase the laptop at Microcenter is named Gus.  So I think I'm going to name my new laptop Gus.  It seems to fit.  I had Bob, and now I've got Gus.  Seems logical.

And now... to start turning this into my own computer!  Let's start by reading some porn.  :D
mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)
Yesterday, I read an article about four Star Trek medical technologies that are already becoming a reality. 

Today, I just read an article about mathematical models for cloaking devices that hide things in space/time. 

You know, I really think a lot of us science geeks got into our particular fields of study because of Star Trek.  And I think that's brilliant.
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
I saw THIS article linked on CNN.com this morning.  I thought some of you might enjoy the story behind the Hollywood drama. 

Go on, read it.  Take the time acknowledge the real people behind the story, and how the actual event unfolded that day.  I think that's important.
mijan: (Jim Kirk: Gotta be fucking kidding me.)
So, I got home last night from watching Megaman with [livejournal.com profile] coldfireserge and my wife, and booted up my laptop.  I'd taken some pictures of myself wearing (and please don't laugh) but several outfits meant to evoke the stylings of Chris Pine.  The lovely folks over at the [livejournal.com profile] jim_and_bones  community decided to have a "Dress like Chris Pine" contest, which I found too funny to resist.  So I assembled four outfits (because overkill is fun), took some pics, and had them ready to submit... and suddenly, my computer screen decided that vertical stripes were slimming. 

Oh yeah.

After a minute of nothing but vertical stripes, I turned off the computer, and was treated to the black screen of death.  That's right, we went right past the blue screen stage, and this bitch was DEAD. 

With the help of the kind and generous [livejournal.com profile] coldfireserge , we re-snapped the pictures, uploaded them , and submitted them to the website *just* in time, and then... I got about the business of what to do with the dead laptop.

I called up [livejournal.com profile] popefelix , who is known aboard the USS Macchiato as the ship's cyber-psychotherapist (he talks to the computers and makes them happy), but at the end of the night, the declaration was not much more hopeful than a resounding, "It's dead, Jim."  We can get the thing to turn on at this point, but nothing is responsive.  No mouse, no keyboard... even plugging in a separate mouse or keyboard has no effect.

So, it's time for me to face the harsh truth.  Bob isn't quite dead, but he's in a coma, and he's not waking up.  I adopted him back in 2006, so that's pretty good for a laptop, considering how much I've abused the poor thing.  I've dragged it everywhere with me, on planes, in cars, in luggage, to coffee shops, on Army assignments... using it for the valuable endeavors of self improvement and the fine art of motorcycle maintenance writing fanfic.  Time for me to look at my finances (medical bills have been a bitch this year) and buy a new laptop.

Until then... no more fanfic.  *whimpers*  I had so much reading and writing to do!  I'll be online at work, but more work and less play.  Alas... maybe I'll get out of the house and do some stuff.

FCKH8

Oct. 24th, 2010 11:26 am
mijan: (UU Rainbow Dignity and Worth of EVERY Pe)
This... is kinda extremely awesome in so many ways.



The only sad thing is that I really don't like pink. Nasty little color. (Yes, I'm prejudiced against pink.) Can I fight H8 by wearing purple instead?

Honestly, I might wear pink for this.

Spread this video like the fucking plague.
mijan: (A Ship and a Star to steer her by)
PRIMARY:  Less than one week go to now.  YAY!  I have purchased feminine protection for the LAST TIME EVAR (unless I pick some up for Trophy Wife).  Do you know how liberating that feels?  But more to the point, I won't have to delete one or two days every cycle from my calendar due to severe bleeding and pain that disrupts my life.  The cyst will be gone, too, of course.  Eighteen years of on-and-off torment will be over.  Not nervous - just relieved at this point.

SECONDARY:  My wife has misplaced her wedding ring.  Currently, she's wearing my wedding ring on her necklace and wearing the rainbow gemstone ring I gave her on her left ring finger.  I'm wearing my grandfather's old signet ring that I inherited on my ring finger so it's not naked.  (I'm really fond of that ring, actually, and I'm sad that the only finger it fits is my left ring finger - my right ring finger is significantly larger at the knuckle, so it's an excuse to wear it.)  HOWEVER, that got me thinking of something I've been considering for a while.  I've thought about getting a wedding-band tattoo on my left ring finger.  Cheesy, perhaps (although I've got a design in mind), but I like the idea of having something that nobody can remove from me.  I'll have to take off my wedding band on Monday when I go in for surgery.  If I have a wedding band tattoo, they can't remove it.  My Trophy Wife supports this idea.  I would never pressure her to get one - this is what I'm considering for myself.  What do you folks think?

TERTIARY: I've broken past my snippet of writer's block, and I'm writing the last few scenes of my Star Trek Big Bang fic.  This fic is rather overwhelming and huge, and I'm just hoping it works out the way I want it to.  I shouldn't be nervous, but you know me - I am.  I  hope people will like it.

QUATERNARY:  Really sick and tired of having religion thrown at me randomly, as if I should just simply accept it.  And it's always Christianity I'm being force-fed.  Random co-workers (not in my department - other departments), random folks around and about, businesses,   Why, people?  And how shall I respond?  Shall I respect this obnoxious, in-your-face, you-must-agree attitude from people, or shall I fire back?  Shall I tell them that it's not healthy for adults to cling to fairy tales?  Shall I cluck my tongue and shake my head sadly because they haven't converted to (X) other religion?  Shall I try to tell them of the joy of being a Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, or Pastafarian?  Really, I can't just keep going along with this.  I need a fair game plan of how I shall respond to future forceful intrusions of other people's religion on my life.
mijan: (Frodo)
The wonderful and amazing [livejournal.com profile] hazelhawthorne pointed out a simple fact to me today:

Hobbits only reach adulthood at the age of 33.

I am a Hobbit.  (See icon for reference.)  Therefore, I am still an adolescent. 

CRISIS AVERTED!

Now, I need to go find second breakfast. 

:D

30

Aug. 12th, 2010 10:54 am
mijan: (Kirk walks into a bar...)
So... I'm 30 now.  Still not sure what to make of it.

Huh.

More coffee?
mijan: (YUB-YUB Commander!)
PRIMARY: Stayed up until 3:00 AM last night, writing for my Big Bang story.  I think I'm making progress.  Currently at app. 55K words.  I hope this story won't suck.

SECONDARY:  Have to go to a wedding this weekend.  Have to go to a wedding the weekend after that, too.  Then it's two weeks to Dragon*Con, and I still have a costume to create, in addition to the Big Bang rough draft being due September 1st.  Can we say BUSY AS FUCK???

TERTIARY:  Turning 30 in just a couple of weeks.  I'm happy with my life.  Really, life is awesome.  I just want something... MORE.  Get a novel published?  Med school?  Smashing debut in a Broadway musical?  Buy a new sofa (a microsuede sectional, I think)?  Existential crisis - I has one.

QUATERNARY:  Been working on my vocals/piano more over the past few months.  Last night, I managed to clearly hit "Joanne's" high note in "Seasons of Love" from RENT.  My range is the best it's ever been.  I want to actually take piano lessons eventually, because while I can play, I'm self-taught, and I need more "theory" to really bridge that gap from "not sucktastic" to "quite acceptable."  At the same time... pianos are kinda hard to lug around.  I had a classic acoustic guitar a long time ago, but it died in a flood (the wood warped) and I never got past a couple of basic chords.  I need a new guitar and to force myself to learn it.  Piano is so comfortable and familiar, but maybe I need a shift.  Of course, what's the point of all this if I don't DO something with it, right?  *sigh*  I need to start finding auditions.

QUINARY:  The epic headache of doom from last week has subsided, but not disappeared.  WTF, brain?  Why do you hate me?

SENARY:  I like xylitol.  It's yummy.  Yes, I thought that was worthy of a line in this post. 

SEPTENARY:  I need to seriously tone up between now and Dragon*Con, because I'm going to be wearing a spandex body suit.  No, I'm not kidding.  And no, don't ask.  But if I'm going to be onstage in front of hundreds (thousands?) of people in an outfit that leaves NOTHING to the imagination, I need some muscle definition.

OCTONARY:  I want to go on an adventure.  Dunno what yet, but I want to do something crazy.  Oh, and I also wanted to use the word "octonary," just because it's an awesome word.

Cheers!
mijan: (Don't make me angry (Yuuri))
I have NO tolerance for this sort of bullshit:

"Parents need to start beating their children again"


and

"I'm sorry, but unruly, rude and undisciplined kids like that deserve to get the crap kicked out of them- be it by their parents or another kid that they mouth off to the wrong way"

If you say shit like that on my livejournal, especially after I've told you to stop talking about child-beating, the "go fuck yourself" will be the kindest thing I'll ever say to you again.  GOT IT?  There's a vast difference between spanking a kid and beating a kid.  I'm not much a fan of the spanking philosophy, but I understand that some children are more problematic than others.  A swat across the backside is sometimes the only way to get a kid's attention.  But there is NO excuse for BEATING children.  NONE.  That's child abuse.  That's VIOLENCE.  I don't want to hear that language, I don't want to hear people espousing the notion of beating children, and I especially don't want to see people supporting that behavior on my journal.

If you think beating children is a good thing... don't talk about it in front of me.  If you do, the de-friending will be swift and merciless.  And then I will quote you like this so that you and the world can see how heinous your attitudes really are.

I write about horrendous things in some of my stories.  They're FICTION.  And I never, NEVER glorify violence as a positive attribute... especially violence against the weak or the helpless.  I condemn it.  I've known victims of domestic abuse.  I've had friends who were beaten as children.  Not spanked - BEATEN.  There's no excuse for that shit.

Violence begets violence.  I've seen enough of it to know.  I don't 'want to see it on my LJ.
mijan: (Squee - SQUIRREL)
And death by PLAGUE has been brought to us by... A SQUIRREL.   Why am I so amused by this? 

Squirrely wrath... SQUIRRELY WRATH!!!



And if that wasn't enough, please let Foamy entertain you... with song:

mijan: (Spaz Much?)
NOTE:  This is not aimed at my f-list.  It's not aimed at anyone in particular.  This is some venting at the general population that I need to get off my chest. 


So the 4th of July is coming up.  I know a lot of you folks on my f-list are Americans.  So am I.  Hell, I'm an American veteran.  Bully for me, right?  I've got some sort of quasi-sainthood according to some factions of the population because I did some pushups, strapped on combat boots, blew up some shit, and buried more than one of my own guys.  All hail patriotism, right?

And because a veteran like me is so patriotic (which I am, actually), I must love the 4th of July.  I must LOVE watching people abuse the American flag by wearing it as a cheap Wal-Mart garment, or sitting on it as a beach towel, or wiping their mouths on it when it's printed on napkins distributed around the picnic blanket in the park.  I must love the sanctimonious hails to the Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors who "gave so much" so that the people raising their ice-cold beers can feel better about their own personal comfort.  I must love the cries of "God and Country," and people's attempts to tie their religious preferences to my patriotism.  And oh yes, I must love the fireworks.

Now, I don't speak for every Soldier or veteran.  I speak for myself only.  I know it surprises a lot of you when you find out that I not only served in the military, but I was an officer, in a command position in a Combat Engineer company.  Yeah - cute, little, sweet, adorable me.  How could I be trained to be that hard?  Well... unless you've been there, you can't understand.

But let me try to get people to understand a couple of things on this 4th of July weekend.

1. Respect the goddamned flag.  It's not a t-shirt, beach towel, picnic blanket, napkin, or fashion accessory.  It doesn't go in the trash.  The PROPER way to dispose of a torn and tattered flag is actually to fold it neatly, and BURN it.  But for the love of Thor, when I see anyone displaying faux-patriotism by the improper use of the flag, it's worse than a slap in the face.

2. Don't TALK about how much the troops gave.  How about this: instead of talk - which is cheap - try taking CARE of this nation that generations of Soldiers secured for you.  Stop trashing it, wasting it, abusing it, and expecting it to keep rolling along with God-sent strength.  Great nations and empires have fallen, and we're not immune.  The greatest threat to national security is complacency.  It's about taking care of what we've got.  You want to honor veterans?  Stop abusing the freedoms they secured for you.

3.  I'm a veteran.  I'm patriotic.  I'm not Christian.  Stop tying those three things together.  It's offensive.

4.  Fireworks.  I love a professional fireworks display.  But you want to know something?  There are fireworks going off in my neighborhood right now.  They sound like machine guns and mortar rounds to me.   I hear a lot of folks in fandom talk about "triggers."   Some people got pissed off at me recently because I wasn't "sensitive" to their triggers because they read something in a journal post that made them upset.  Well, let's put this into perspective for a moment:  You CAN turn off your computer.  For the next week, if not on-and-off all summer, I'm going to be awoken to the sounds of what my brain is telling me are mortar rounds and artillery shells and machine guns.  I'm going to flinch every single time, with the distinct urge to reach for a semi-automatic rifle that I don't own, load it with a magazine that doesn't exist, and take up a defensive posture in a foxhole that I never dug.  I'm going to have dreams about it again.  It happens every year.  I'm not trying to downplay anyone else's trigger here.  I just want people to recognize something they might not have even considered... while they're launching bottle rockets in their backyards and setting off firecrackers in metal barrels.

Oh, I'm not stupid - I KNOW they're all fireworks, bottle rockets, fire crackers, and other bullshit like that.  But that doesn't stop my mind from going there, every single time.  Once a Soldier, always a Soldier.  I hide it deeper than I used to, but don't ever kid yourself and believe that the Soldier is gone.

I loved many aspects of my time in the service.  I have personal reasons why I actually want to go back... because I believe I could still make a difference.  I miss my guys.  I don't miss the politics, but I miss my unit.  We did some good stuff.  I can't go back - injury, medical situation, sexual orientation.  Yeah.  That.  But underneath the bouncy, cheerful, perpetually energetic exterior, there's another layer.  And on the 4th of July every year, the Soldier comes back out to visit... just not always in the way you might think.

Just... do me a favor, guys.  This year, when you pack a picnic lunch and go down to see the fireworks display... think about what I said.  Just spend a couple of minutes thinking about the difference between patriotism and false-patriotism.  Ask yourself what sort of country you want for the future.  And maybe... consider not setting off fireworks in your neighborhoods.  There's a chance that the veteran you thanked earlier that day is lying in bed, trying to sleep, and is reliving memories they'd rather not relive with every explosion.

And now... the real meaning of Independence Day.  I may be busy on the 4th, and not around to actually post this.  So, I'm posting it now.  I present to you the full text of the Declaration of Independence:


IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident... )
mijan: (A Ship and a Star to steer her by)
So, obviously, I needed to write a post detailing the OMFG THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED parts of Trek Fest.  You know - before I forgot it all in the post-TF insanity.

What I didn't really post were my actual thoughts on what happened, and my emotional response.  I'm still churning it over in my head.

We should all have a Bucket List of sorts.  Everyone should.  I keep adding things to mine, and checking them off as I go.  But I have three lists.  The first is the realistic list - things I can actually do by choice and effort, not by sheer dumb luck.  That includes stuff like a trip to Japan, swimming with dolphins, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and learning to surf.  Then there's the list that requires effort and skill, but also SOME element of chance.  That includes stuff like acting in a musical/play, saving someone's life in a direct effort, and getting published.

Then, there are the total pipe dreams - the things that would be nice to see actually happen, but I'm not crazy and I just know better.  Those things include traveling outside of our solar system, being the first human being to make alien contact, and having one of my childhood heroes sit down at a table with me and chat.

Pipe dreams.  Nothing more.

Then it happens.

I've spent the past 72 hours rehashing how I view myself in the grand scheme of things.  I'm still trying to rationalize that it actually happened.  (Note to self: it happened, there were witnesses.)  I'm still trying to figure out why I got up that morning before everyone else, with this unshakable feeling that I had to go park myself outside the cafe with my computer and a coffee and wait.  Sure, I was writing, but I was waiting.  It's like I knew something unusual was going to happen.  I wonder if, perhaps, I didn't bug out because I'd had that dream so many times.  Told myself that even though it was a pipe dream, that if I met one of my favorite actors, that THIS is how I'd behave.  Like rehearsing for the most far-fetched possibility as if it could really happen.

It was a bit like being in this bubble, hoping the bubble wouldn't burst.  I'm kinda kicking myself that I didn't offer to buy him a cup of coffee.  Kicking myself that I didn't ask about Babylon 5.  Wondering if it would have been acceptable to ask about DeForest Kelley, my other big childhood hero from TOS.  Wondering if I talked too much.  Wondering if I was being too demanding when I caught up with him and asked him to say hi to my mom.  Wondering if I really did act the way I always promised myself I would act if I EVER, in my wildest dreams, got to meet an actor in such a personal way.  Did I keep my cool?  Did I treat him like a regular person?  Did I say something utterly stupid in my attempt to maintain my cool?  Did he know that I really appreciated his time and conversation, and that I'm aware that there's a huge difference between a character and the actor?  Did I make a good impression?  I wonder.

If he'd been a jerk, I wouldn't care what he thought of me.  Instead, I met one of the sweetest people I've ever encountered.  I don't think it's just being star-struck that gave me that rose-tinted impression.  He just seemed really cool.  Particularly surprising considering how much he's gone through recently.  And no, for the record, I didn't ask about his son.  I'm sure other people have, but he knows that we all know, and I figured he might enjoy thinking about something different.  Still, I really wanted to ask how he's doing with that, and let him know that his fans care.  I also didn't ask him to say "nuclear wessels."  Didn't ask for an extra autograph.  Didn't ask him to pose for pictures.  Honestly, I didn't even think about it.  It didn't cross my mind.  i realized that belatedly, that I hadn't even considered those things while we were chatting.  Besides, a picture is just ink on paper.  I've got a memory to last a lifetime.  Dear gods, that's good enough.  More than good enough.  And it's because he was such a nice person that I actually care about the impression I made.  I hope it was good.

What struck me the most during the whole conversation was his smile.  He's got this warm, bright smile.  It lights up his whole face.  And even though he's not young, he almost bounces in his seat when he gets excited about something.  And there were moments, when he was leaning on the table, forearms folding in front of him, with this confidential-conversation sort of grin on his face, my brain saw Chekov, straight out of the movies.  And yet he was right there, sitting across from me, and it wasn't Chekov, it was Walter, and we were laughing and chatting about writing techniques and the military and baseball.  (He's a Yankees fan!  GAH!  I'm a lifelong Red Sox fan.  So we razzed each other back and forth about that.  Just like any baseball fans would.  I think I'm going to send him a fan-letter with a Red Sox keychain in it.) 

We talked about writing, but I would have felt awkward telling him about the plot for my original novel.  I would have felt more awkward telling him about my fanfiction plots.  I loved listening to him talk about his.  Now, I kinda wish I'd told him about my original plot idea.  More than that, I'd like to WRITE my original plot idea, and meet him again someday, with a copy of it in my hands.  I want to show him the dedication page, which will have three names on it, including his, because talking to him was the kick in the ass I needed to refocus on original writing.  I really hope I get the chance.  I hope he comes back to Trek Fest, but I wouldn't blame him if he didn't.    Still... yeah.

Anyway, I'm probably overthinking it, but overthinking is what I do.  It's part of what makes me ME.  It's part of why I write, too. 

I had a "fan encounter" that still blows my mind.  I still get just a bit watery around the eyes and tight in the throat thinking about it.  It makes me wonder... ponder... marvel.  It makes me hope that he remembers me, for what it's worth.  It makes me think that somewhere in my life, I must have done something right.  It makes me curious as to how I appear to others... what people see when they look at me and interact with me.

I've met so many awesome people in my life, but I don't run in famous circles.  My friends are awesome.  My fellow geeks are awesome.  The fan authors I know are awesome.  My USS Macchiato crew is awesome.  I'm delighted that I seem awesome enough to some of them that I find myself surrounded by so many incredible people.  But of all the random things in life, how did I manage to stand out enough that the star of the event would decide to sit down at my table and talk with me?  Maybe I'm just that obnoxious.  Or maybe I did something right.

Who knows. 

But now, I have three fanfiction novels to finish, and then I have an original story to write. 

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mijan

April 2013

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