For several years, the meeting place of the Dark Justice was at the Carnegie Public Library. That was fine until they decided that they would close early on Friday nights when our meetings were. So, we moved to a local restaurant.
That wasn't too bad but it was difficult for the captain to get there. He had to take one bus then transfer to another. We finally found a place called the Interstellar Cafe on Pittsburgh's South Side. It was a neat place with computers for internet connections, books on UFOs and an 'interesting' clientele. And, it was essentially at the bottom of the hill the Captain lives on.
After a few months there, we arrive there for our meeting to discover the places has closed. We end up a block away at a Tuscany Coffee shop.
The next month, just before the meeting, it is announced on the news that Tuscany will be closing all it's Pittsburgh stores. The meeting ends up at the Captain's house.
It seems as if our presence at a commercial establishment has become the touch of death. The people who supply our make-up, Spotlight Costume, is happy. They wanted to move into the space occupied by Tuscany to expand their business. "If we knew it was that easy," the proprietress at Spotlight said. "We would have had you guys in there long ago."
I travel to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to have a somewhat professional photo layout done. While this is mostly to fill out the photographer's portfolio, some shots are planned to appear in a Klingon calendar that my Captain is planning to produce. Here are some photographs that were taken.
There were plans to do another session with a model that wasn't quite as shy at this one but the dates got mixed up and it will have to wait until after Dover.
View details on the Damsels Not in Distress Calendar at http://members.aol.com/tachookma/damsels.htm
Last year, I brought in a fudge brain for the chocolate party on Friday night. This year, I added two bulging eyes to the fudge brain. Imagine a "Mars Attacks!" alien realized in chocolate. It was consumed quickly.
I also brought some yellow tape that read "Crime Scene. Do Not Cross." Twisting my thoughts to find a use for this tape, I drew a tape outline body just inside the door of my room. Passers by would see the Crime Scene tape across the door and look inside to see where the body had lain, the head two feet from the shoulders and a Federation insignia on the chest. A Class-1 decapitation. On Saturday night, I moved the tape outline of the head out into the hallway to gather more attention to my open house for Kordite's Metal Things.
That went very well. Not only did I obtain five more pieces for new patterns, discussed coinage projects, weapons, casting and many other things Klingon, this was also the first convention that I went home with more money than I left home with. Qapla'!.
Lawrence Schoen was the guest of honor this year. We were going to discuss some Klingon Language Institute pins I might produce for him. Unfortunately, his artist did not supply him with the requested artwork. Even so, he spent every opportunity during the course of the weekend to twist my arm about attending this year's qep'a' in July. (For those who don't know, the qep'a' is an annual gathering of students of the Klingon language to bring it to life through five days of use.) Even my admission of rank incompetence with the language did not deter him.
My first time attending an all-KAG convention. In many ways it was what I would have expected, but more of that later.
The guest was Mary Kay Adams (Grilka). She was a very pleasant and fun guest. She even refused to give me her e-mail address with style and grace.
During the convention there was a rash of vandalisms. Anti-Klingon remarks were written on door signs, along with other rude illustrations and defacements. The perpetrators kept a beefed-up security force of 60 (?!?!) running in circles for hours. Astounding. My now familiar "corpse in the hallway" was laid out with a pen in his hand, indicative of the result should I catch any vandals. Oddly enough, I saw none of the alleged perpetrators nor were my door signs vandalized.
The highly politicized nature of the vandalism seemed to mirror the politics that went on during the rest of the con. He is where I lapse into a somewhat editorial mode.
I went to a meeting of the KAG Weapons Department. This is apparently the successor to the Klingon Armorer's Guild. I had joined the Guild some time ago and, in the meantime, have received next to nothing. There was supposed to have been a Guild meeting/lecture at Dover earlier this year but the armorer was substantially incapacitated from the parties of the previous evening and never arrived. The same leadership now takes command of the Weapons Department and wants dues. I'm not emboldened.
I went to a Klin Zha tournament. At least, there was supposed to have been one. The guy in charge wasn't there and had to be found to get things started. The rules he played were different from the rules I had learned, Korath's original rules handed to my by the creator himself. The claim was that the now-defunct Klin Zha Society had 'beta-tested' Korath's rules and added some 'clarifications' I got my butt kicked in a single game because I was unfamiliar with some of the changes and traditions. (The strict adherence to the 'knock on the table to indicate the end of your move' tradition was distracting.) I set up The Authorized Klin Zha Homepage for just this purpose; so that one person playing Klin Zha was sure to understand the rules and assumptions being employed by his opponent.
I was being looked upon as the successor to the Klin Zha Society. I'm not sure I want the job. Keeping track of tournament standing, player rankings and all that. I just want to see people playing the game.
I went to the Line Epetai brunch (I took left-over pizza, because the meal cost extra) and learned that the person who had been doing line registry has moved on to California. Therefore, all the paperwork needs to be submitted again. Why doesn't someone just get the paperwork from the former director? Is there some real reason, aside from 'politics,' why this couldn't be done?
I skipped the banquet (It cost extra).
All in all, I would say that I didn't have the best of times. Too much evidence of bureaucracy in action (or bureaucratic inaction) for my taste. Just because I have a degree in political science, doesn't mean I like politics.
And, on top of that, Canton is like a pit. Remember Charlton Heston in "The Omega Man?" He's the last man on earth, walking empty streets during the day and battling neo-anachronist vampires at night. Canton is like that empty city but without the nightlife. I had to walk six blocks to find a fast food restaurant.
Man, I'm looking forward to Dover. I've already made my reservation at the hotel.
And, by the way. Joe Manning, Mr. Dover himself has asked that I put up a web site for Dover Peace Conference. Take a look and maybe I'll see you there.
I made two submissions to Pocket Book's Star Trek Fan Fiction contest. One titled "The Outsiders" and the other "Through a Glass, and Darkly." Each are Klingon stories and those in my writer's workgroup have high praise. (And I think my stories are better than their submissions for the same contest.) First prize is $1,000 plus 10 cents a word for publication. I'd be happy with an Honorable Mention, 10 cents/word and publication with no cash prize on top of that. All I need is to be in the top 23 and I'll be very happy. Look for news in January of 1998 to see if I'm going to be a published author.
|Strange New Worlds Update
The winners were announced on the 7th of December and my name wasn't on the list. I suppose that I will eventually have to purchase, or at least borrow, a copy when it is finally published so I can find out the competition I had. In the meantime, I've posted the two stories, "The Outsiders" and "Through a Glass and Darkly", on my web page. Enjoy.
Locally (and probably in cooperation with a national ad campaign), Giant Eagle (grocery store) and the Steelers (pro football team) are sponsoring a "milk mustache" photo contest. You may have seen the billboards featuring famous people with milk on their upper lips extolling the virtues of Milk, the udder cola. Well, I've sent in my own picture. I wonder if I'll end up on a billboard somewhere. nIm yItlhutlh!.
|Milk Mustache Update
Of the gazillion prizes given out I got absolutely nothing. I can't imagine that so many people had pictures cooler than mine. I suspect that the contest lawyers were concerned about using a trademarked species in an advertisement campaign of any scale without the blessing of Paramount. Oh well.
Each year for the past three years and just before Halloween, the Dark Justice has helped the Bayer Corporation with their haunted trail to raise money for the United Way. This year the trail raised $400,000 in three nights. Qapla'!