Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering, Always.

To all the veterans and families of veterans: Your sacrifices in service to our nation cannot be sufficiently honored. I render thanks and gratitude for your standing watch over us and your proven guardianship of our collective freedoms.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Music Heard Today At Baycon

A Really, Really Good Day

This morning I received the contract for some short fiction I have been contracted to write for a game company. Still haven't signed it, as I am mulling it over, but it's nice to have such things to think about.

So, a new friend of mine from Facebook, of all places, Dario Ciriello, had a guest membership to BayCon this weekend and offered it to me. I jumped at the chance and took today off from my regular work to attend.

BayCon is a local fan-based SF convention, one that's been going on for 31 years and seems to be thriving. I attended the opening ceremonies and, shortly after, saw a young woman I could swear I had seen before on Geek And Sundry and really thought, "Wow, that one is cool!"

And no, it wasn't Veronica Belmont, who I did see and recognized (Hard not to, she's the toastmistress for the con). It was maddening, though: this recognizing the Bonnie Burton and not being able to place where I had seen her, even when I read her name.

I eventually had to just walk up and ask, "Did I see you on a Storyboard?"

She was gracious and said, "No, though I have been on some other shows on Geek & Sundry."

I wasn't sure, but thought maybe: "Vaginal Fantasy?"

"Yes, I am on there."

Somewhat mollified that I had recalled her Geek And Sundry, and only marginally less uncomfortable in my fanboi moment, I stood there awkwardly. Then Veronica Belmont approached, read my t-shirt, laughed and asked if she could take a picture of me, which was something of a hit all day (It's the one about drowning morons, for sale on Zazzle). We chatted as a group for a bit, then I took my leave.

I checked in on a couple panels before hitting the bar for a beer. Sitting there, I saw Dario for the first time in person and had a very nice chat with him before he left to prepare for his panel.  I then caught up with him for that panel, which was on death and how we Americans really don't deal with it in a healthy fashion. Many insightful and thoughtful things were said by the panel and audience,  I was especially impressed by Dario, who I had only met in person twenty minutes before.

Once the panel was over I headed back the bar and again saw Bonnie, Tom, and Veronica. Seeing as I have no shame, I approached and said hello once more. Bonnie and Tom were fun and engaging, and we roved many a field of conversation for some time. I tagged along with them (remember, no shame) to the meet the guests of honor event.

Much later, I said my good evenings and started for home.

It was as I pulled out of the parking lot that it finally hit me: I had recognized Bonnie from when she appeared on Wil Wheaton's TABLETOP game of FIASCO and totally owned using stellar roleplay and awesome storytelling! The show is generally great, but she just slammed it out of the park!

All in all: a really, really good day.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dyslexia and Me, A Brief History

I've talked a bit in the past about having both ADD and dyslexia. I haven't really talked about what it meant for me, growing up.

Suffice to say that it made things a lot harder than they had to be, though not nearly as hard as some children have it. I was diagnosed with dyslexia after being held back in third grade. I attended special education sessions with a teacher at my elementary school and remember a bunch of exercises intended to train the eye/mind to track normally. My mother worked very closely with me to make sure I completed the exercises, something I am certain was not easy. Yet another reason I owe my parents all.

It worked, for the most part. I still screw up, sometimes in funny ways.

Thing is, I don't think any of it would have worked had I not been enticed to read an enormous, tattered book with an intriguing cover left on my father's nightstand: The Lord of The Rings.

I read it. I remember struggling with it over the course of months. I remember feeling my mind getting stronger as I read it. I remember the feeling of my mind growing because I was reading it. It was an awesome feeling, one that I have continued to seek over and over again, like an addict.

By the sixth grade I had overcome the difficulty that arose from my dyslexia to the extent I entered a state-wide short story competition. My short went to the state finals, but was turned down because they suspected I had not written it without assistance. I didn't write fiction again for about twenty years.

When it came to marching at the academy, I had a hard time getting the right foot forward (pun there, eh?). Assembling furniture still makes me swear a blue streak as I go left to tighten, even when saying "righty-tighty".

Anyway, it also gave me the ability to look at a picture on a wall and see, immediately, whether it's level or not, and what proportion it might be above or below a neighboring picture.

Also, I just tend to think about things differently than just about anyone else I know.

Not better. Just different.

Sometimes I see shit in a way others don't.

Don't know if it's from years of dealing with adjusting and questioning my own perspective on things or what, but there it is, a part of me I don't think I would be rid of now if I could.

An acquaintance of mine, Blake Charlton, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about our shared condition of dyslexia. He's one of those over-achievers that give me that shouted question: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH YOUR LIFE, GRIFFIN?!!! This question is shouted because Blake, aside from having a kick-ass name, is a medical doctor, a novelist, and looks like a bald badass ready to charm the pants from whom he pleases.

Regardless of my jealousy, his op-ed is an exceptional piece that can be found here. Please read it, and if your kid seems confused by which way  b and d should face, it may be that kid is going to have a rough climb that may eventually smooth out on a plane few others reach.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vexatious Lawsuits Will Get You Some Heavy Duty Wrath!

So, I have been, for some weeks, following Popehat and their coverage of the dirtbag attorneys in a porn downloader copyright infringement case.

Following, and loving, dearly,  Federal District Court Judge Otis Wright's calling 'bullshit' on the plaintiff attorneys, who are now sanctioned in this order, after being ordered to show cause in Wright's court for knowingly being party to the action and numerous other falsehoods including creating a fictitious attorney to sue with.

Now, the reason I posted the Order is because: not only did Wright catch some dirtbags shoveling filth on their profession, and fraud on the people of the nation and courts, he's also a trekkie to such an extent that he quoted Wrath Of Kahn in the opening of his order and made numerous additional references to Star Trek in it.

Simply, irrevocably, awesome!