Sunday, January 11, 2015

One of My Earliest Novels

Musique - Matterhorn soundtrack
At some point this year, I plan to self-publish the novel I wrote for 2012's NaNoWriMo. To whet your appetite until that happens, and because I wanted to give you a glimpse into what you can expect from my writing, here is one of my earliest novels. This was written thirty years ago after my family's first trip to Disneyland. As you will see, I was highly influenced by the Matterhorn and its Abominable Snowman.
Because I didn't have an editor at the time, and well, I was seven, there are some misspellings and such throughout the book. To preserve its historical significance, I am presenting the book in its original glory. I give you, Night at Switzerland:
Night At Switzerland by Kate Ziemer [Author's note: my first grade teacher could not remember that my name was Adriane, not Andrea, so for a brief period of time, I changed my name to Kate.]
Once ther was an old old woman who knew Evrey thing but about the Night time. the old women said she was so scared that A Abdonable snow man would come.
One Night the old women stayed up All Night and Abdonable snow man came!
The old women set a trap For the Abdonable snowman. And the Abdonable snowman got traped!
The old woman laufted. and said Oh that will take care of you!
The End

When my new novel comes out, I think you will find that even thirty years later, I am still writing strong female characters.
And, outside of my writing, I am still incredibly in love with the Matterhorn and the Abominable Snowman. Especially the little Abominable Snowman that makes popcorn in that popcorn cart in Fantasyland. Seriously. So cute.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Why I Deleted My Facebook Account

Musique - "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
I deleted my Facebook account today, and here are the reasons why:
Reason five: I got overwhelmed. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff in the world. Like just the thought of how many people, places, events, viewpoints, emotions, colors, smells, thoughts, foods, hair salons, animals, things, etc. there are in the Universe overwhelms me to the point where I don't want to do anything. The internet is definitely something that overwhelms me—and Facebook especially. My Facebook friends are posting stuff, the pages I like on Facebook are posting stuff, I'm posting stuff, there are ads and links to news stories and so on and so on. It's too much to handle sometimes. I just wanted to make it all stop.
Reason four: I cannot stand dumb/mean/negative/judgmental/ ignorant comments on posts (and yes, I realize that by me judging these comments thusly, I am being judgmental myself). Reading the comments on an internet article is one of the most frustrating things you can do, and reading comments from strangers (or possibly even people you know) on Facebook is equally aggravating. I get all worked up when I read a comment that irks me, so why should I subject myself to that nonsense? I shouldn't. (I should also learn to not let others opinions irritate me, but that's an issue for another time.)
Reason three: I've developed a Facebook compulsion over the years. I will seriously check it every time I get bored—even if I just checked it five minutes ago and there was nothing new to see. It's a seriously bad habit that I've been unable to break myself of.
Reason two: There's so much drama in the LBC. I'm picky about my Facebook. I only want to be Facebook friends with people that I interact with on a regular basis and/or want to know what they're up to frequently. I hate feeling obligated to be Facebook friends with someone just so I don't hurt their little Facebook feelings. I've been called out, called mean, and had people get mad at me for unfriending people, and I got sick of it. It's my Facebook, and I should be Facebook friends with whomever I want. I have unfriended people for mean or judgmental comments. I've unfriended people who I just didn't interact with on the regular and didn't see the point in having them as a Facebook friend. I've unfriended people from work because I decided to keep my work life and personal life separate. I don't hate or even dislike these people—I just didn't want them on my Facebook. I know you can just unfollow your Facebook friends so you don't see their shit, but they can still see your shit, and sometimes I just don't want that. Besides, I resent the fact that I should have to unfollow the people I don't want to be Facebook friends with in the first place. Fuck all that shit. I've had people unfriend me too, of course. Sure, I might be curious as to why they did it. But hey, there are about a million reasons why they'd unfriend me that have nothing to do with hating me or being mean people, and I don't feel that they owe me any explanation. I did post a lot of pictures of my cats. ;)
And the number one reason why I deleted my Facebook account: I should actually be living my life. I should be appreciating each moment as it happens, not wondering how I'll look when the photos get posted to Facebook, or how something that happened might make an amusing status, or getting upset when no one likes or comments on something I post. Seriously. The internet isn't real life, and I shouldn't treat it as such.
Admittedly, I will miss parts of Facebook—mostly being connected to my friends and family who live in other states and other countries. But hey, they all have my email address and phone number, so hopefully we can catch up that way. I will also miss being friends with the Bouncing Souls. No, not just the band's Facebook account, but the original three members themselves. Greg even commented on one of my pictures once. :D Who knows—perhaps I shall return to Facebook one day, but for now, I'm am SO done with it, and I feel SO good about that!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Musique - "Team America Theme Song"
Anita Page
Ann Blyth
Ann Miller
Ann Rutherford
Ava Gardner
Captain America
Debbie Reynolds
Gracie Allen
Leila Hyams
Piper Laurie

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Musique - "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" by Gene Autry

Alice White

Bitburger Bunny!

Bonita Granville

Debbie Reynolds

Doris Day

Ida Lupino

Irene Dunne

Jean Parker

Mary Carlisle

Mary Pickford

Mitzi Gaynor

Susan Hayward

Vera Ellen

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Very First Comicon!!

Musique - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme" by Nerf Herder
I don't know why I've never been to a Comicon before. Actually, yes, I do know why—because I thought I wasn't "legit" enough to go. I like some so-called nerdy stuff, but I don't read comics or play video games or Dungeons and Dragons, etc. But I have always heard that the Comicon population is really welcoming and inclusive—I can now say that that is the absolute truth!
My friend Amie works at EMP Museum and invited me to volunteer at their booth at the Emerald City Comicon this year. I'd work for three and a half hours, but have the rest of the day to explore the con. Um, YES! The list of celebrity guests was pretty great: Eliza Dushku, Alan Tudyk, Chad Coleman, Emily Kinney, Rachel Nichols, J. August Richards, Mark Sheppard, and Karl Urban (and those are just the people in shows and movies that I like—there were a ton of other really famous people like Ron Perlman, Richard Dean Anderson, and Nichelle Nichols).
I am a huge fan of dressing up, so I decided to be Kaylee Frye from Firefly. And since Alan Tudyk was going to be there, I decided I'd pay for a photo op with him. I found the perfect turquoise kimono jacket for Kaylee's pilot episode look and assembled the rest of the costume in a mere week. It looks really cute on Jewel Staite, but let me tell you, those men's coveralls are extraordinarily unflattering, especially in pictures. But hey, at least they were comfy.
I showed up on Sunday right at ten, when the con opened. The Washington State Convention Center was already teeming with people. I saw some really great Avengers costumes, including a really hot Captain America. I followed the crowd up to the fourth floor and into the celebrity area. I asked one of the photo op minions when I could buy my Alan Tudyk photo op and she looked at my badge and told me to come back at 10:30 and get in the VIP line since I was an exhibitor. Sweet! I walked around for a little bit, getting a little too excited every time I saw anyone in Firefly gear. One woman wearing a "Browncoats" shirt got very confused when I waved at her. But I did end up getting some really great pictures with other Firefly cosplayers. And I got to walk around and see all the cool stuff. I bought a great postcard of a black cat in Loki's costume by the artist Jenny Parks.
At 10:30, I got in the VIP photo op line and bought my ticket. I asked when I should show up to get in line for the actual picture and the minion told me fifteen minutes before. I didn't quite believe her, so I decided to show up an hour before, at 11:45. They told me to try again in fifteen minutes. I did and they told me to wait another ten. Finally, I heard someone directing people to Alan Tudyk's line, so I rushed on over, but there were already TONS of people in his line. WTF?! I was seriously ready to stand in it at 11:45, but they said his line wasn't open. But I got in line behind another Kaylee cosplayer and we waited for at least half an hour, during which time, only like twenty people got to go get their picture with Alan. I was nervous that I wouldn't get to the EMP booth by 1:30, when my shift started, so I went to speak to a minion and I showed him my exhibitor badge and asked if there was any way I could get my picture taken in time to be at my booth at 1:30. They totally let me cut in line! Yippee!! I would have felt bad, but since I was prepared to stand in line at 11:45, 12:00, and 12:15 and kept getting turned away, I think it was okay that I got to cut.
However, since I was rushed in, I didn't really get to prepare for this experience. There were only a few people in front of me by the time I got there and they were rushing people through SO quickly. My sister had done one of her rad Dia de los Muertos style paintings of Wash and asked me to give it to Alan during my photo op, so I was clutching it in a manila envelope, holding my receipt, and grabbing onto my Kaylee parasol. When it was my turn, Alan turned to me and said hi or hello—I don't remember which. I don't even know if I made eye contact with him; I just blurted out the first thing that came to mind, which was unfortunately, "You're alive!" (meaning Wash, not Alan, who is obviously alive). It made sense in my head since I was dressed as Kaylee, but I think it confused him. I put up my parasol and stepped next to him, putting the hand holding the painting behind his back, and smiled for the camera, not even thinking about a certain pose or expression. It was over so quickly! Then, I handed him the manila envelope, saying "My sister did a painting of you," to which he replied, "Really?" in a "that is really cool" tone of voice. But because they were rushing people through so quickly, he had to set it down without opening it, which I completely understand. Now I wish I had taken it out so he could have seen it right away. But like I said, I didn't think I'd be in to see him so quickly, so I didn't have time to prepare. And, just as quickly as I was in there, I was out. I honestly think it was no more than five seconds. It was kind of a letdown, honestly. I wish they'd let you have a moment or two to speak to the celebrities, but I guess that's what the signings and panels are for. I wish I could go back and re-do it, knowing how short of a time I'd have. Oh well, next time. And, hey, I do have a picture to prove that I (sorta) met Alan Tudyk:
After my photo op, I went to get a quick sandwich since I hadn't eaten since breakfast. And for someone who is used to eating every few hours, this was quite an abnormality. Someone saw me eating my sandwich and commented that I should be eating strawberries. Ha! I really loved feeling like a celebrity myself because of my costume and the number of people who love Firefly and Kaylee.
The EMP booth had a replica TARDIS, which was a very popular destination for the thousands of Doctor Who fans. My job as a volunteer was to tell people about EMP, the $5 off admission they could get with their Comicon badge, and how to Tweet their TARDIS photos in order to win a Doctor Who prize pack. I was so drained from having spent all morning amongst thousands of people and my stressful photo op experience that I wasn't as upbeat and outgoing as I could have been, but I did end up getting in a rhythm. It helped that so many people liked my costume because in our conversations, I felt comfortable working in plugs for EMP and the contest. I met a lot of really cool people in really cool costumes. It was so awesome! That's Amie below in her glorious Wonder Woman dress in front of the amazing TARDIS—and I really hope she doesn't mind that I stole this pic from her Facebook. ;)
In the end, it really was one of the best days of 2014 so far, and I am beyond enamored with the Comicon experience. The whole time I was walking around waiting for the photo op, I encountered nothing but the politest, coolest people. I am a very shy person by nature, but I never once felt intimidated to talk to anyone—I felt very included, even though I was wandering around by myself. And now I know more for next time: a signing is a better celebrity experience than a photo op, but if I have the money for both, I will definitely do that! The next time I go, it will just be as a regular guest (no fancy, VIP exhibitor badge this time) and I'll go for all three days and try to space out my fun. I want to go to a panel and do a signing next time—maybe multiple of them! I'd also like to spend more time walking around and seeing all the costumes. I really only took pictures of Firefly and Avengers costumes, but there were SO many more that were very impressive. I'd like to spend a lot more time people watching and picture taking next time. Also, if I ever go to a con with Eliza Dushku again, I am SO paying money and standing in line for any of her fan experiences. She tweeted and instagrammed the hell out of this con and that is so, so rad.