Tags: laconiv

Silly - Dirty Face

L.A.con IV photos galore!

agrathea has posted her L.A.con IV photos.

Here's what she said about them in her LJ:
Secondly, a tremendous amount of photos from Worldcon in LA. Something around 650 or so. I will post them in their entirety for now and trim them down later to the best quality photos for those of you who are somewhat interested, but not really interested in a thorough recounting of the convention.

If you would like to use any of the photos for a fan piece of any kind, or if you are a subject of a photo and would like me to send you a higher res version, just e-mail me. I just ask any materials using photos from this collection give me credit and that I know it is being used (and I do have quite high res versions that are ideal for print).

I apologize it isn't much easier to navigate, there are just too many images and the processing of the photos thus far has already taken me more time than I really should have spared.

Photos from L.A.con IV
She also took some awesome photos of me at the park, many of which look way better than I really do in real life. She makes me feel like a model! Well... a model with wild hair and oily skin anyway.
Silly - Dirty Face

The origin of my urban Zulu outfit

Click on the image to enlarge it.
The last couple of years many of you have seen me wearing this outfit at conventions (even at Smofcon), costume parties and even a parade in New Orleans. The icon I'm using for this post is of me in this outfit at a costumed rave on Halloween. It is very unusual and people always ask me questions about it (as per a recent post) so I thought I'd post a bit about it here.

It is a modern urban fashion in South Africa, with origins in Zululand and in the pride of the Zulu nation. During the apartheid era in South Africa the system essentially enforced poverty on black people. As a result they usually had to patch old clothes and wear them until they fell apart. As you know, even if you use the same material, patches show up and look tacky.

Now some Zulus decided that these patches were like badges of their poverty and subjugation, so they decided on an alternative to this embarrassing semi-hidden patch. They decided to stick an obvious patch on the outside of the garment instead of the inside. They also made these patches geometric shapes and chose obviously unmatched colors, often bright ones. Additionally, to keep it symmetrical they added a matching patch on the other side of the garment. Sometimes they added some kind of cloth tape or string trim in order to hide holes.

Post apartheid Maskanda musicians and others took to wearing more stylized versions and it became a more formally accepted fashion. Now vendors sell tailor-made versions in flea-markets and the like and it has the isiZulu name of mblaselo. As soon as I heard about it I had a friend buy this outfit for me and have worn it many times since, in any venue where a costume may be required, from a parade in New Orleans to conventions.

I usually wear it with a black shirt so as not to clash with the colors in the outfit. At L.A.con IV, where these photos were taken, I realized that I had forgotten to pack a black shirt, so instead I went the other way completely and wore it with a tie-dye shirt. I loved it! It somehow feels more African – we love our colors. So this is how I'll wear it from now on! (Here is a photo of the outfit worn with a black shirt taken by lsanderson during our South African party at Noreascon Four.)

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Photos by agrathea
Silly - Dirty Face

Pluto, Pluto, wherefore art thou Pluto?

(Or, with apologies to Paul Simon, "Where have you gone Planet Pluto, a planet turns its lonely eyes to you.")

I was reminded today of the fuss all over the world over the demotion of Pluto from planet status. The Worldcon business meeting passed a motion deploring this action, and California may do the same, but at Worldcon there was a far more witty variation. The final party at most conventions is the dead dog party. At Worldcon this year they renamed the dead dog party as the dead Pluto party. What makes this particularly witty is that Worldcon this year was held in Anaheim just next to Disney and Pluto is the name of Mickey's pet dog.

On that subject, our rhymes are now messed up. To remember the planet names I was taught, "Most Vampires Eat Men Just Stay Under Neath Protection." So I just lost my Protection. :( Amusingly I've heard the following as a cleverly appropriate new alternative, "My vastly entertaining mnemonic just seems useless now." (Possibly attributable to one Jim Henley.) So what new "vastly entertaining mnemonic" variations will you come up with? Here's some of mine (you must be able to do better than this lot):
  • Marriage Vows Evidently Make Juicy Sex Unhappily Nonexistent
  • Managing Very Easy Maintenance Jobs Sometimes Unexpectedly Nucleosynthesizes
  • Many Vacuous Employers Make Just Salaries Unerringly Negligible
  • My Very Easygoing Makeup Just Seems Unbelievably Naïve
  • Mechanical Versatility Eventually Makes Japanese Society Use Nanotechnology
  • My Very Essence May Just Smile Unendingly Now
  • Metamorphosis Varies Everywhere Making Juvenile Specimens Unusually Nymphish
Silly - Dirty Face

On my way to LA

So I got through security here in PDX (Portland, OR) in 20 minutes or so, despite a very long line, only to find that my flight will be departing 22 minutes late. As a result I have 2 hours to wait in the f*cking airport. Thank goodness Portland is one of those cool and honest cities not trying to rip off the little guys and giving us free Wi-Fi instead of charging $6-$10 like some other unscrupulous thieves airports. Of all the airports I fly through this is the only one I'm lucky enough to have free Wi-Fi in. It's a real blessing with a 2-hour wait.

In a few hours I'll be in LA and Worldcon. I have my first duty at 2pm tomorrow, placing ice orders, though I will have to post ice announcements around the place earlier. I'm not sure how many party hosts I reached through the web. Enough I hope. Well, not bad for a feature we were not going to provide until a week and a half ago.

To those of you who will be there, see you soon, not that there are many of you left who are not already there.
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