Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Yesterday, I happily attended a nerd convention. Sidebar: if you're a nerd, don't go feeling all marginalized. I refer to nerds lovingly; I am one, I'm married to one, and I've more than likely produced one given the number of Spider-Man t-shirts the Boy owns.

Anyway, Monday was essentially an industry insider epilogue to the weekend's civilian main event. A key part of the retailer festivities on Sunday night was a free screening of Joss Whedon's 'Serenity.' I was a wee jealous that the retailers had seen it already, but I'm going to see a preview on September 27th, so it was no biggie.

Or so I thought...

At lunch time, I thought I'd mingle with the good people who buy our products and get a feel for how well they know my company. Looking around, I find a half empty table where at least one other woman is sitting, ask if it's OK to join the group, and plunk down my plate. Clearly, the woman (and the man sitting next to her) are a couple who owns a comic book store together, and we exchange pleasantries. A mealy looking dude was sitting to my left, but he didn't really contribute much to the conversation. He just worked his way through his stack of brownies as the the comic book couple and I chatted about toys and the industry.

Then, a Penn Jillette knock-off sat down next to Mealy Man, and within two sentences, ruined the movie for me. I won't do the same to you, gentle readers, because this is just about the worst crime you can commit in the pop culture universe. Okay, the devil's advocate would argue that he assumed that everyone in the room had seen the bleedin' movie. But how can you not wrap your porky brain around the possibility that a hardcore fan might have had to do something else BESIDES see the movie? How do you not, out of simple courtesy, ask if everyone at the table has seen a movie before you complete this sentence: "I can't believe they...!"

So, good friends, if you ever, ever, ever find yourself in this situation, DO NOT even speak the people who have gotten to see a movie you're really looking forward to. As soon as you've heard that they know some plot twist or major dramatic moment, just get up and leave because they won't be able to control themselves.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Starting Fresh

Apologies to my tens of fans for the lapse in blogging; I started a new job on September 6th, and, well, it took me a week to get comfortable enough to snatch some office time to contribute to the Fifth Estate*.

For the past week I've been feeling like someone in the witness protection program. My routine is completely disassembled. Nobody knows me. I can't reveal myself -- my jokes, my faith, my history -- 'til I trust those around me with that information. Furtively, I peek around to see if its an opportune moment to check personal e-mail, or to cruise a website that's got zilch to do with my work for fear that people would learn more about me than I really want them to right now. Don't get me wrong -- I've got a titanium work ethic. Case in point: I had the ebola virus (or something equivalently virulent) last week, and I still came in to work because I thought it'd send a bad message to call out sick during my inaugural week.

I have no doubts that this job change will rock, and not just for the logistics of a shortened commute. The prime mover is my son, and being able to spend more time with him while he's smaller than me. Given that I'm about three apples high, I fully expect to exist in his shadow by the time he's ten.

A close second reason, though, is that my passions, shallow as they may be, are the life's blood of this company. Do you have any idea how amazing it is to work some place where your personal interests have professional value? I've never had that. I thought I did. I'd actually hoped I did, since the last place I worked was all kinds of noble in its endeavors. But I guess I need to embrace some facts about myself, like I'd rather read The Monitor in Entertainment Weekly than the crawl on CNN.

*I figure if journalists fancy their trade the 'Fourth Estate,' we humble common folk who self-publish our opinions can claim to be the Fifth Estate. Hey, anybody know what the First, Second, and Third Estates are?

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Not sure what I think about the device in this article. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? But it makes me wonder if the rape victims will now become murder victims once Rapex is deployed...