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The Best Birthday

Posted by melagee on February 25, 2013

I wanted to write some of this down, because I want to remember it as best I can. It’s not going to be pretty, but that’s okay because it’s not for you, it’s for me.

I was on a week long cruise in the Caribbean for an event called JoCoCruiseCrazy. Attendees of this crazy water house music convention are called Sea Monkeys. My birthday happened to fall within the cruise and maybe MAYBE it was the best birthday ever.

On the morning of my birthday I had lots of bacon and sausages. I had horrible coffee, but decent tea. I went with friends to see That Yoda Guy, and basked in the warm sun and the panicked chattering of Sea Monkeys who may or may not have been lost. Afterward, I ate pizza with friends and demanded birthday hugs.

The demanding of birthday hugs was an all-day event, really.

In the afternoon I got a birthday card with monkeys on it (but no poop, thank god), which was signed by many many people, both famous and not. I also received a Captain Marvel dogtag, which I LOVE. I put it on right away, even though it did not match my outfit.

bday1

At a ninja concert by Molly Lewis, I reminded people that it is my birthday. I didn’t want anyone to feel bad about missing it. Lar deSouza loudly acclaimed his surprise at my being another year older, and Molly sang happy birthday to me. THIS IS A TRUE THING THAT HAPPENED TO ME. I then struggled not to fall asleep during Molly’s show, and felt like SUCH A JERK for being so sleepy after she had sung to me. I’m sorry, Molly! I was the most tired fan in the world!

That evening I had a buffet dinner with wonderful people. I ate so much food, you guys. I wore my favourite dress, which is brown with pink polka dots. I had two different trifles, and a banger. Those are just food highlights. A waiter brought me a piece of peanut butter chocolate cake with a candle in it, and I made a wish. I always wish for the same thing, and it usually comes true. Sea Monkeys sang happy birthday to me in multiple languages. A couple celebrating valentines day stopped by and gave me an ADORABLE stuffed monkey and some chocolate. I named the monkey Lil’ Storm.

lil-storm

That evening was Open Mic night, which meant I got to cheer on the most amazing and talented people. On the way to the venue I saw John Roderick. “JOHN RODERICK!” I yelled, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” I don’t remember what he said, but he hugged me. I legit did not want to let go. A handsome man with a beautiful voice enveloped me in birthday hugs. THIS HAPPENED TO ME.

At Open Mic I heard so many wonderful songs and jokes and recitations. It was beautiful. At the end of the show I approached Mike Phirman and told him it was my birthday. He made the room sing happy birthday to me. He also hugged me. TWICE.

On my way back to my room I stopped and had a tiny sandwich with friends. One beautiful lovely lady stole a rose from the cupcake shop and gave it to me. She committed a crime for my birthday, you guys.

The next day I thought it was over, but it was not. At the Doubleclicks show that afternoon, Angela and Aubrey sang the Birthday Song for ME. MEEEEEEEEEEEE!! AND IT WAS RECORDED ON VIDEO!

 

Missing from the end of this video is the fact that I kept clapping for like 20 seconds after everyone else had stopped. I was so elated, you guys, you don’t even know. They deserved all the applause.

This was my birthday. And it was maybe the best birthday ever, except for the one where I was born which is kind of responsible for starting this whole crazy thing off.

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Posted in Buds, Essential Melanie, Nerd Talk, Plans of Fun | 2 Comments »

I’m not saying too much.

Posted by melagee on September 15, 2011

Sometimes it bothers me that I don’t blog as much as I used to. I would like to blame my lack of writing on the fact that I am so very busy lately, or that I don’t have anything interesting to say, but the truth is I have always felt busy and I never have anything interesting to say. Neither of these things has ever stopped me from blogging in the past, so why do I have so little to say lately?

Well, duh: it’s Twitter. Now that I can so quickly and so easily drop one-liners on the internet, I have little-to-no patience for several paragraphs of blogging. I can rarely be bothered to take the time to open up a browser and compose a more in-depth commentary on my thoughts than 140 characters would allow. Sometimes I will begin to compose a blog post in my head, and by the time I have my hands on a computer that is suitable for typing, I am bored and already wondering if there are any new cat pictures on the internet. Twitter has ruined blogging for me. Worse than that, Twitter has ruined the reading of other people’s blogs.

All of the things I just said about writing blogs? That goes for reading them, too. When I can quickly scroll through my friends’ tweets while sitting on the bus, I feel less of a need or desire to read their more drawn-out thoughts. Entertain and inform me, but please do it in the 5-10 seconds it takes me to scroll past your name! It’s horrible, and I end up missing out on a lot. Only today I found out via Facebook status update (almost as cool as Twitter) that a friend of mine had ended a long-term relationship a couple of months ago and just recently begun a new one. My friend had been blogging about the events of her life as they unfolded, but they didn’t tweet about it so I didn’t know. People are trying to tell me (and, well, everyone) about their lives, and I’m not listening. I feel like an ass.

This blog post is less about solutions and more about me identifying the problem for myself. I didn’t even know I was going to write about this when I started typing. I thought I would ramble on about my day and try to be funny and all the usual wotnot that I used to do. Instead I am realizing that I miss writing and reading and I resent being part of the YOU’RE NOT GIVING IT TO ME FAST ENOUGH demographic. I will have a think on how (or if) I can change this.

Posted in Buds, Essential Melanie | 1 Comment »

How was your day?

Posted by melagee on March 19, 2011

Today, for the first time ever, I got to hear my friend Alys play the harp. As a special added bonus, I also got to hear her sing. She was wonderful at both, and if her CDs hadn’t been picked clean by the rest of the audience, I would have liked to have taken one home. I feel like the harp would be a nice instrument to listen to while writing; sometimes I get tired of total silence when I’m working.

Afterwards, I stopped by the comic book store, because I was in the neighborhood and I am weak-willed. I am trying hard to pinch my pennies, but, well, comic books: they will be my undoing. I picked up “The Last Temptation”, which was written by Neil Gaiman (who I am currently in love with), and another really fun-looking one called “iZombie: Dead to the World”. The latter of the two is from Vertigo, which I like because they’re kind of like grown-up comics, and if you know anything about me at all you know that I have a soft spot for zombies. If I take the concept of zombies seriously, they are fucking terrifying to me. This comic seems not to take the scary approach, though, and looks pretty novel. I will check in with you guys once I’ve actually read it.

On the walk home I finished listening to the “Stardust” audiobook, which is read by my boyfriend, Neil Gaiman. I cannot get over how much I enjoy hearing his voice. I suppose I am not being completely fair when I call him my boyfriend, though, since I get a little wigged whenever he narrates sex. I kind of don’t like to think about him as a sexual object. Sorry Neil. I think of him as my platonic boyfriend, which to be fair, is how I think of many of my boyfriends. “Boyfriend” is really just another way of me saying “I think you are AWESOME and I love you”.

When I got home I chopped up some meat and stuck it in my tiny slow-cooker – it’s almost done now – and finished my essay. I went back and forth on how to structure the essay, which is an exploration of motherhood in Titus Andronicus and Macbeth. I ended up with: Intro-here’s why Tamora sucks-here’s why Lady M sucks-Lady M dies-Tamora dies-Conclusion. I’m not convinced that it’s the best structure, but I like it marginally better than Intro-Tamora does this-Lady M does this-Tamora does that-Lady M does that-Tamora dies-Lady M dies-Conclusion. This probably doesn’t make any sense to anyone. Nevertheless, the most important thing that I learned is that my typing skills have been shot to shit. I make an incredible amount of typos. Just in that last sentence I made four. I used to be so good at this.

The rest of the evening is pretty much just me eating pot roast and watching episodes of “Homicide: Life on the Streets”. If you’re unaware, it’s a pretty fucking excellent show, and the impetus for my usual internet nickname. Even so many years later, when I have developed a general dislike and mistrust of police officials, I adore the cops on this show. They’re like superheroes: fighting the good fight, no matter what it costs.

And how was your day?

Posted in Boyfriends, Buds, Movies/TV, Work | 4 Comments »

Morning Walk: Day 5

Posted by melagee on March 4, 2011

I had the best morning.

I didn’t hit the snooze button. I woke up as soon as my alarm went off, and I felt rested and alert. This was a huge change from the zombie-like movement of my usual morning self.

This morning I took Neil Gaiman on my walk with me. He was reciting the introduction to his book, Fragile Things, and then started telling me a wonderful story about Sherlock Holmes. For the whole walk I was entranced by the sound and inflection of his voice. I had read Fragile Things several years ago, but listening to him read his own work was like discovering it all over again. The only flaw, if there is one, is that I am enjoying the audiobook too much. I kept listening to it while on the bus to work. I should be savoring this; instead I am loving it like a fat kid loves cake.

When I got back from the walk I made myself breakfast. I made eggs Benedict for the very first time ever. That included poaching an egg, for the very first time ever. People, let me tell you, poaching an egg is ridiculously easy. I used a pot of hot (but not boiling) water, some vinegar, and a slotted spoon. BAM: poached egg. My Benedict was built from a crumpet, sliced tomatoes, and the egg in question. Topped with a yummy cream cheese-based sauce, and a few rashers of bacon on the side. This is most definitely the best breakfast I’ve ever made.

I’d like to say that I had such a good morning because of any of the things I’ve already mentioned, but I don’t think that’s what did it. Last night for the first time all week I had the opportunity to slow down and do something just because it was fun, not because I needed to. I spent the evening with two lovely people, talking about the nerdiest of topics. I think we dwelled on Dr Who for about an hour. I got to just be nerdy and drink hot chocolate and not spend a few hours doing something fun. It shouldn’t surprise me that the next morning I woke up feeling energetic and happy.

The good news is, I learned a lesson. It’s important to socialize and relax. The bad news is, it’s not going to make much difference. I’m as busy as I ever was, and no matter how nice it is to slow down and geek out, I still have a huge amount of stuff to get done during the week and will probably still stress myself out trying to do it all.

But at least I had a nice morning. ūüôā

Posted in Buds, Creative, Nerd Talk, Personal Challange | 1 Comment »

Something Different

Posted by melagee on August 6, 2009

It’s been a while since the blogathon, and I guess it’s only fair to finally put something new up here for the millions and millions of people who read my blog on a daily basis.¬† I guess working on the blogathon kind of sapped my mind clean of anything that I thought I had to say – I’ve certainly had my fill of talking about cute boys and girls for a while – and I’m kind of turned off of writing about anything right now.¬† I’m still in mental recovery is what I’m saying, I guess.¬† But in the intrerest of wiping the dust off my blog, I’m posting something new.¬† Well, something updated.

Life has taken over my, well, life lately with work, volunteering, and entertaining my two lovely and talented houseguests.¬† I’m having fun and getting stuff done, but I could really use some downtime.¬† I kind of wish I had asked for another few days off next week so that I can just lay in bed and do diddlysquat for a while before I go back to my regular routine.¬† I don’t regret any of my time commitments lately (wait, does work count?), I just know that when I don’t get some downtime I become problematic.¬† And you wouldn’t like me when I’m problematic.

Okay, that’s all you get.¬† I can hear a ranga snoring in the other room and it’s reminded me of how very late it is.¬† I’m visiting a giant mountain named Grouse tomorrow to make baby noises at some bears and admire some lumberjacks, and this requires lots of rest and relaxation.

Good night, lovely people.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Buds | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blog: Dear Diary

Posted by melagee on July 26, 2009

Dear Diary:

Today I tried to spark a geo-political standoff for giggles. ¬†First I thought of involving Iceland, but really, that guy’s been through enough lately. ¬†I settled on Poland because he struck me as needing a little excitement after his 15 minutes of fame from the Coalition of the Willing had faded. ¬†And remembering that it takes two to tango, Argentina seemed a natural partner; besides, she so much fun in ’82.

So I waited until Poland was standing near Argentina, then I leaned over and pulled her hair, hard. ¬†She turned around, furious, glowering for the puller. ¬†I, being an official UN arbitrator, immediately offered my services: “Argentina, while I think that Poland’s actions in these past moments have been reprehensible, don’t forget his important role in stabilizing NATO.”

Argentina, now acquired of target, spun the remaining degrees to square with the back of Poland’s head.  The front of it was so engaged with his towering, sweet sekacz that he had failed to notice what I had been cooking up.  The attacker spent seconds weighing the severity of her reprisal, then settled for accidentally destroying the external wall of the ballroom addition of the Polish Embassy in Argentina.  While the Argentine Republic fully acknowledges the sovereignty of that Polish soil, certain wrecking balls amongst its citizens were unaware of such sacred boundaries.

Poland, of course, was both confused and suddenly at sea with regards to where the Saturday bingo should be held for his emissaries to that southern land.  But oh, how good is that sekacz!  How did he long not to be distracted from it by the present strife!

At last, he turns to face her, eyes not leaving her still smoulderingness, and leans over to Brazil saying “what’s the deal with Argentina, dude?”

Brazil says nothing.  It sits resplendent in its vast rainforests, its mighty rivers, its respectable iron ore and soybean exports, and it says nothing.

Poland, ponders this, knowing that words indeed are nothing compared to the sheer expressive power of a decent space program and the seventh largest metropolitan area on the planet. ¬†And these silent national possessions speak one thing loudly: “don’t upset the apple cart, don’t rock the boat, and for the love of god don’t disrupt the regional economy – our exports to the Euroregion are sizable!”

Poland nods, wisely, and offers no rebuke.  Argentina, seeing no ill intent in Poland, backs down.

Overall, a major bust. ¬†I think next time I’ll dump a drink on someone‚Äôs head.

Heath Johns is the co-founder of the fabulous Urbantastic, and an all-around lovable curmudgeon.  He is possessed of a brilliant mind, an incredibly exciting energy for good ideas, and a very soft pelt of fur.  I enjoy him muchly, and now you can too.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Buds, Creative | 1 Comment »

Home Stretch

Posted by melagee on July 26, 2009

There area about six hours left in the blogathon, and I am really feeling it.¬† I just lay down on my bed for a minute to close my eyes, and when I opened them again, half a, hour had passed. Now I am typing with one hand so I don’t have to sit up.

Dude, I’m tired.

you know what else?¬† you drink enough caffeine and eventually it doesn’t work so well anymore.

It’s really nice that people are commenting on some of the stuff I’ve been writing.¬† Thanks, you guys, I really appreciate how supportive you’ve been.¬† It’s been very encouraging¬† ūüôā¬† I have a feeling it will be harder for you to comment as it gets later into the night (and earlier into the morning), but you should check back in the morning, eh?¬† I might have something interesting to day.¬† Anything could happen, right?

6 hours to go!

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Buds | 2 Comments »

Guest Blog: Life as a C-List Internet Celebrity

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

I’m a pretty normal guy. I work a mid-level white collar tech job for a financial services firm and I own a house in a quiet residential neighborhood. I’m a fairly ordinary guy.

I guess the weirdest thing about me is that once a year, I travel out to Toronto, Canada and host what is  essentially a huge party for about 100 people who know each other from the internet.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s an awesome party, spread out across some of the best pubs Toronto has to offer. I’ve taken to nicknaming RvBTO “The iLiquorod” because of the extended drinkennany that ensues. Also, we’re all there under the pretext of watching a cartoon made with a video game and maybe asking a couple of questions from the creators kind enough to join us that year. But largely, it is the mass destruction of multiple political careers by a bunch of well-timed photos.

I have proven largely resilient against said photos. You iPapparazzi will have to try much harder.

But it’s not all booze and internet jokes. These are the people many of the attendees talk to every day online. They have unique insights into our character precisely because RedVsBlue.com has become a safe harbor for our thoughts and feelings. Certainly, we’re closer to these long-distance friends than we are to our next-door-neighbors who, let’s face it, we hardly even talk to beyond exchanging pleasantries.

Because I have run a modestly successful podcast, I’ve been invited for the second year in a row to host this party. I don’t know exactly what modestly successful means. People download the show, though not nearly in the numbers you’d get on TV and radio. This broadcast of mine, let’s call it “Late Nite JengaJam”, has been running a little over 2 years and has seen some interesting conversations with creative people from across the internet that people who aren’t on the internet largely don’t know about.

But it does open some doors. Like the door to the big internet party in Toronto, for instance.

It’s a strange thing to come to this event and have people know ahead of time who you are. Unlike a normal celebrity, I’m not exposed to this every day. They ask me to sign things. Or body parts. I happily oblige, because, frankly, I”m happy to have any fans at all. Not for lack of quality at all. I am proud of almost every show I’ve ever broadcast. Rather, it’s like only being able to flex a muscle once a year.

Last year, that muscle was in overdrive. RvBTO 2006 coincided with my 26th Birthday. It’s a strange thing to have 70 friends from the internet sing “Happy Birthday” to you. And buy you dinner. And drinks. Lots of drinks. Too many drinks, probably. But it’s a good, good feeling.

I’m kind of happy with my specific brand of celebrity. It’s localized almost entirely within a 3 day event in a foreign country (I’m from Philadelphia, PA). And it stays mostly on the internet, which, in theory at least, I can walk away from at any time of my choosing. It’s all of the perks (well, except money, but mo’ money mo’ problems, amirite?) without any of the setbacks.

I’m a pretty normal guy. I have sports teams I cheer for and political parties I prefer.

I guess the weirdest thing about me is that I love being a C-List internet celebrity.

J.G. Edathil is one of those rare friends who started as a disembodied internet persona and quickly became the huggable, lovable, enjoyable friend that I see roughly once a year. ¬†He’s always great company, has some of the most creative ideas I’ve ever seen, and is one of the kindest people I know. ¬†He is also the author of a highly entertaining blog, and an equally entertaining podcast. ¬†You should go there now.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Buds | Leave a Comment »

In case you were wondering,

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

A few blogs ago, oh so many many moons ago, I posted a few of the really random quotes that I use on almost a daily basis.¬† I forgot to put one on the list, and it came up in casual conversation with Catherine…Omega? Winters? Either or?

We were getting on the elevator and I was bemoaning the fact that the elevator only goes down and we had to take the stairs back up.  Suddenly:

“Where do those stairs go?” I asked.
Poor Catherine couldn’t have looked more confused.¬† “You want to take the stairs?”

Actually, I was just quoting GhostBusters, but, as Catherine pointed out, I had “too much context”.¬† That’s me!¬† The master of context and small yapping dogs!¬† I rule.

So!  Answers?

  • “Step this way.” — Spoken by Scrooge to his clark, Crachet at the end of A Christmas Carol.¬† He’s trying so hard to maintain his strict serious face so that he can surprise the hell out of Bob with his good news.
  • “You were right,” — Spoken by a nameless girl, right after having sex with Leonardo DiCaprio in Man in the Iron Mask.¬† The full line is “You were right.¬† A woman has never known love, ’till she’s know the love of a king.”¬† To which Louis replies, “I’m hungry.”
  • “I cannot carry anymore!” — Spoken by the female Barbarian in Champions of Norrath, my favourite video game.¬† She can only carry so many things at once, and when she’s at capacity and I keep trying to pick things up, she yells at me.¬† Sometimes I also use the female Dark Elf’s vally girlish version, “My pack’s full!”
  • “The books make our speaking English good.” — said by Xander to, I think, Giles in an episode of Buffy.¬† I don’t even fully remember the context, I just remember loving the line and it’s delicious wrongness.
  • “Use your words, dude.” — From Red vs Blue.¬† I really can’t remember which character said it, or in which episode, but it’s a great line for when people fumble over their own words, or become tongue tied.¬† You know, if you like to mock the misfortunes of others. Like I do.
  • “I love this show!” — Spoken by Gir in an episode of Invader Zim, which is one of the most awesomely awesome shows to ever awesome.¬† Gir is such a spectacular lovable character, too, you may remember that I almost named by cat after him.¬† I use this line a lot when talking about tv shows, which I kind of do a lot.
  • “I’ll be your mother, now!” — Little Red Riding Hood to Jack (of Beanstalk fame) in the final scenes of Into the Woods.¬† It’s completely random and never in context, but somehow I find a way to use it, and nobody ever ever gets it.¬† I think that just makes it all the more fun.

There.  Do you feel sated, now?

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Buds, Essential Melanie, Movies/TV, Nerd Talk | 6 Comments »

Guest Blog: Fantasy Boyfriend

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

I’ve been running around like a chicken with a head cut off for the Blogathon over at my own blog, but I did get to poke my head in a couple hours ago to see Melanie blogging about her dream boyfriends. I had really no idea what I was going to write about here, but after chatting over Ridiculously Sexist Things From the Internet (like this), I figured it out: I’d write about one of the longest-standing members of my own Boyfriend List. My boyfriend list has always been astoundingly small – too many real-life objects of affection taking all my precious dreaming energy – but one guy’s been on it for coming on ten years now.

Who could this be, you wonder? I’m a smart girl, and I have high standards. Who could captivate my attention for a month, let alone close to ten years? I’m not the kind that’ll wag my tail for eye candy alone, but I’ve also been known to quote Oscar Wilde on judging people on their looks (i.e. only shallow people don’t).

I won’t leave you in any more suspense: I’ve had a crush on Duncan Sheik since I was 16.

8866_lgI’m not going to bother explaining who he is to you. If you know, you know; if you don’t, Wikipedia is your friend.)

How much is there to say? He’s a Buddhist, writes and sings some really incredible, goosebump-inducing songs (often about the universe), and studied semiotics at Brown University. Yes, that’s right, the study of signs and symbols. That’s the sort of abstract thinking that sends shivers up my spine.

He’s certainly still a singer-songwriter, but I’ve also been fascinated by the way he took what previously was a criticism against his music – that he was distant or overly objective – and capitalized on it in a way that made total sense for him: in turning musical theatre on its head. He won a Tony Award for his work on the score of Spring Awakening, and I’m quite enamoured with his latest project, Whisper House.

Also, I suspect he has a seriously geeky streak: there’s a curiously homespun touch to his podcast for Whisper House, and he’s totally with it when it comes to DRM and remix culture – in 2006, he released his album with two discs: one called Mine, with his produced version of his songs, and one called Yours, which contained tracks for people to remix and remake into their own songs.

I won’t regale you with the tale of having my little teenage dream fulfilled when I met Duncan in Vancouver, or when I say him two nights in a row in Portland and Seattle this past February. I’ll just saw, that were it not for Duncan Sheik, I would not have nearly as good an idea as I do now, for what intelligent males sound like when they talk. Guys don’t have to spout poetry, but in the hundreds of hours spent with Duncan’s songs, I’d like to think that I’ve learned to listen for spirit.

…what more could a girl ask for?

Karen Quinn Fung is a public space advocate, and a passionate transit map reformer.¬† She’s helped to organize more than one unconferencfe within Vancouver, thereby giving activist nerds across the city (including myself) something to do with their weekends!¬† She’s also about as cute as a button, and writes a highly entertaining and informative blog.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Boyfriends, Buds | 1 Comment »