convergence and the common geek (me)

It feels like it’s been a month since I was at work… but it’s only been three days that felt like a month.

Friday Laura and I did a parade at like 10 in the morning. Then Friday afternoon we spent about 2 hours or so on the greenway looking at art cars and listening to live music, after which we headed immediately over to the con.

After taking a dip in the pool and hot tub, grabbing our badges, and doing a minimum of walking around, we found ourselves in the hotel room relaxing for a few minutes. Suddenly there were loud booming noises… I thought they were somehow coming from inside the building, but Laura and I quickly realized they were fireworks. From our fifth-floor east-facing room, we had an excellent view of some display (in Edina or wherever the Radison South is located) but we also, amazingly, could see about 6 or 7 other fireworks displays. I’m certain that we could see the one for Minneapolis, and another LONG display that was probably the Mall of America’s. We may have even seen the tail end of the one in St. Paul. Some of them we could only see the tops of their highest explosions, but we sat there for a good half-an-hour watching off into the distance. It was quite the experience, and maybe worth the $99/night just for the fireworks alone.

Anyway, we spent the rest of the night exploring con parties and other fun stuff.

If I hadn’t had a sticker on the back of my badge to remind me, I might have forgotten that I was scheduled Saturday afternoon to take sit in on my first ever panels. Their titles were Can Nintendo make a Video Game without Mario in it?, and Sci-fi narratives in Video Games. The first one generated a lively discussion about sequels versus “new” games, and innovation in the industry in general. The second was the panel that I suggested to the event organizers, and unfortunately, it sort of became less a panel and more a free-for-all discussion, straying quite a bit from the topic–but was nonetheless quite enjoyable. I handed out a printout of marty’s top sci-fi video games list on it. I got a lot of feedback, and have some more titles to add to the list.

Saturday night I watched savage aural hotbed play in the main con ballroom… I’ve seen them play dozens of times over the years, and they are never disappointing. This time was no exception, and they seemed especially happy to be playing for the con, which was cool. I should really get around to buying some of their CDs one of these days.

I also won a “Dystopia 2003” party t-shirt by getting sci-fi video bingo before everyone else in the room. (They were giving one away each hour, and I won on my 4th try.) The back of the shirt reads “Freedom is Slavery”.

Sunday we slept in, packed up, and watched Cowboy Beebop the movie before leaving the con. I’d never seen the series at all, so I don’t know how it compares, but the movie was quite good. I also sat through about half a panel on science fiction films made outside the US, and as a result went on ebay when I got home and picked up Shaolin Soccer, The Legend of Zu, and Legend of the Sacred Stone all for about $10 each!

On a nearly unrelated note: I want one of these chess sets for my back yard.

Well, now that it feels like I’ve been writing this entry for a month… I should get back to work.


Astute readers will notice that I’ve added two heretofore unprecedented changes to this site. First, I have added an image to the main template. Secondly, that image is linked to another offsite page.

What incredible event has transpired that brought this change about? I discovered Howard Dean’s campaign for presidency. Firstly, Dean is only a “contender” in the upcoming political war because of the support of people on the internet. When I first read that he’d raised $7 million dollars in campaign funds, and that most of that money came from individuals, not corporations, and largely through his website, I thought it was some kind of elaborate hoax. I’d never even heard of Howard Dean, even though I realized later that I did see his float in the recent Pride parade downtown Minneapolis.

Blogs are a big part of Dean’s campaign, and (in my opinion) you don’t get much more grassroots than blogs. is the main one, and I’ll probably also be following too. (Where I read about the pride parade.)

I more or less agree with Dean on every issue. His state (Vermont) was the one that recently passed the same-sex marriage law. He stood against the war on Iraq, and isn’t afraid to say so. But I’m not going to say anything else. You should read his take “On the Issues” for yourself.

Jealousy and non-monogamy revisited

A while back I ranted a bunch about jealousy as it applies to open relationships, (and Mopsa said I should write a book about it). Today Laura sent me an article that says a bunch of stuff that I agree with. MANAGING JEALOUSY IN OPEN RELATIONSHIPS, by Kathy Labriola. I agree with the entire thing. She very plainly explains what I think are generally considered to be very complicated issues. (But I agree with her that they’re not!)

The only part I might not agree with is in the beginning of her article, when she says that “most of us experience jealousy if our spouse or lover has a sexual relationship with someone else. A few rare individuals never experience jealousy. They are either more highly evolved than the rest of us mortals, or else they are pathologically out of touch with their feelings.” (OK, maybe a bit of jealousy, (a manageable amount for some of us, yes, I’d agree.) But then she goes on to rightly blame various core beliefs for the jealousy that we experience. Core beliefs that I would argue are ridiculous. So, if I have basically already “worked through” these core beliefs, (or dissolved them, as she says we can do), then why does she assert that we all still feel jealous? Where does that jealousy come from if it’s no longer from these core beliefs?

My question doesn’t invalidate any of what she says. It’s a great article, and one that I’m sure I will be discussing in-depth with Laura very soon.

UPDATE: Added link to the original post I was talking about. The rant is in the comments though.