Monday, January 21, 2008

Mighty Fine Shindig!

Boy, did I pick a good one to go to for my first Shindig!

The TO BCs usually get 15-20 people at a Shindig. On Saturday at the Elephant and Castle there were over 35 of us at last count. Oh, and one of the waiters, who turned out to be a Browncoat too!

We had promised our girls that they could go swimming after dinner. This, naturally, ended up causing us to have an early dinner, so I got to eat with my family, even though I was going to a restaurant and pub later.

My night started after getting the kids in their bathing suits and telling them that when they came back from the hotel pool with daddy, I wasn't going to be there. I got, "Yeah. Okay. Can we go swimming now?!?!?!" So they were off. I had acquired a slight headache earlier so I took a motrin and then put on my stylish brown coat and headed around the corner.

I arrived around 6:30 and was directed up the steps to the loft. I got the very last seat at a looong table and was assigned #21 by the waiter. What a crowd! And it was only 30 minutes after the official start of the shindig. It was good to put faces to names and real names to online identities. There were a lot of us first timers, but it was hard to tell which ones were which, because the regulars welcomed us all in right away. Much laughter ensued.

Within the first hour, I felt like I should have been taking notes with all the various references being made to certain personalities. So that is what I decided to do. I pulled out a pad of paper from my purse, titled the first page, "Things I Learned at the Shindig" and passed it down the table with a pen. By night's end there were over 30 entries - all of these pearls of wisdom I posted on the Toronto Browncoat board to share with those unable to attend this particular event.

I got to hear a few stories about the recent Browncoat Cruise and Mutant Enemy day first hand from people who were there. I discovered that I am no longer the most shutter happy person I know. (I didn't even finish a whole roll of film- shame on me!) I was able to hand out wristbands and temporary tattoos to those in attendance - and was told it may be come expected of me! On the other hand, I did also score a couple of shiny buttons too! Yea me! Most shocking event of the night (for my husband to find out at least) was that I had a bit of beer. I hate beer, but someone ordered a raspberry beer and had a glass for sharing. I sampled just a little as someone else took the glass, and I stole a taste. But it was actually pretty good.

Some might think that getting all those Browncoats in one place, the conversation would be nothing but Firefly. This is not true. The conversations were informative, fun, racy, outrageous, and playfully verbally abusive at times. It was nice, though, that when I inadvertently make a Serenifly reference, as I am apt to do, I didn't have to explain it afterwards to the people with whom I was talking. On the contrary, the comments were usually built upon and added to. Yes, ladies and menfolk, we got our geek on that night!

This is indeed one of the things I love about the Browncoat community - the instant connection you have when you walk into a room of strangers puts you at ease right away. There's a line from a song from the 70s (and total obscure points to you if you can name what it's from) that goes, "There's not a word yet For old friends who've just met." Yes there is - they're called Browncoats!

My night wrapped up around 11:30. I didn't get to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked. It was a little louder and darker there than I'm used to. Also, the aforementioned headache was a big hinderance as was the temperature. Heat rises and they had us on the loft level of an area that was an old Victorian bank building, plus I think they had the thermostat set to 25 or something (that's about 80 american). Then there was 3 dozen of us milling around. The conditions did not help my already weak social skills. Regardless of all my nit picking on things like that, I still had an absolute blast.

I hope I can attend the next one as well. And the one after that and the one after that and the one after that. And host one, maybe, even..... Ah well... we'll see.

Until next time:
"Not your kind of party. More with the conversation and less with the breaking pool cues"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Big Damn Heroes: the Next Generation

Wow. That title conjured up images I had not intended! *shutter*

What this post really is about is the babies that friends of mine had recently. I had converted this couple to the ways of the Browncoat at least a year ago at this point, so when they told me they were expecting twins, I knew right away what my shower gift to them would be.

Two little Jayne hats were made for heads in the 3-6 month range and shipped to the Browncoat Parents. Although the babies are now only two months old, they are already sporting their pretty cunning hats. Observe:

Until next time:
"I think that's the sweetest hat ever!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My First Shindig!

I feel just like Kaylee! I'm so excited!

Every month, the Toronto Browncoats try to get together just to get together. These type of gatherings used to be call "meet-ups"; not a con, not an official Firefly event, just fans hanging out. Then, somewhere along the line, our wonderful Captain, Nathan Fillion himself, said these meet ups were like fan shindigs. The rest, as they say...

So I am finally able to make an appearance at one - this Saturday. there's going to be over 30 Browncoats there and I am so jazzed about being one of them. I've been trying to get to a TO shindig for months, but it's hard since I live 2 hours away and have 2 kids under the age of 7. This time, though, I was determined not to miss it. I just didn't know how I was going to get myself there, as I will never drive into Toronto (I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!)

Every Companion has her price and I wagered mine. I told my husband that if we arrange for a sleep over for our girls with the neighbour, then we could go to the shindig together. He said something about then we'd only get home at 11 pm or something. I then suggested that we, too could stay over in Toronto. To this he replied, "Well, if we're staying over, then we could avoid the whole neighbour thing and bring the girls as well." I instantly took him up on this offer.

That was a week ago. I wonder if it's occurred to him yet that not only did he miss the opportunity to spend a night alone with me in a hotel room, but he also made it that *he* has to look after both kids while I'm at the shindig? Bonus for me, eh?

Anyway! I'll be there in a very cunning brown coat. you can be assured that full reports will follow on this blog after the weekend.

Until next time:
"Course, you couldn't buy an invite with a diamond the size of a testicle, but I got my hands on a couple.
Of invites!"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yea for the Moose Mail!

Canada Post is full of surprises. You may recall my recent frustration with their lack of speed and even bigger lack of affordable shipping options with tracking numbers. (January 4th entry)

Well, I received word today that yesterday, that very package I was complaining about arrived to the aforementioned lovely Aussie Browncoat! Eight days after I sent it. Eight. Seven plus one. Wow!

And the first box still hasn't shown up yet.... Lost I'd say! But I have to wait until the end of March before I can make a "lost parcel" claim.  *Sigh* well, it can't all be good news, eh?

Until next time:
"Just once I'd like things to go according to the gorram plan!"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Stuff for a New Year

I've been promising new stuff for months now. I'm happy to be able to present the first of the new shinys for the new year.

This is the first bit of cargo from the secret stash for 2008. It could have been taken right out of Inara's shuttle. It's a lovely carved bamboo folding fan in a mahogany color. The symbol for Serenity is painted in black on the front. The large 9" fan is interwoven with a sheer rose pattern fabric. I'm offering them for $10.00 a piece plus shipping.

Monday, January 7, 2008

And It's Away!

Well, I've trusted Canada Posts' "Moose Mail" once again, but this time got the option with "notification of delivery" or whatever their official term is for it.

What I've put in their hands is my application for a table in the dealer room at the 2008 Dragon*Con. Those of you familiar with D*C will know why I am so excited about the potential of having a spot in the dealer room. For those of you who don't know, Dragon*Con is a 4 day scifi convention that takes over Atlanta Georgia every Labo(u)r Day Weekend. It spans 3 host hotels and has about 40,000 attendees. (Yes, I typed that number in correctly)

Even if I don't get a spot in the dealer room, I'm goin!!! I've decided that already. I will do my best to represent the Browncoats of Canada in whatever small fashion I am able. And to think, only 234 days left until all the fun and craziness starts!
yea me!

Until next time:
"Well, then, this is a day I'll be glad to be me."

Friday, January 4, 2008

Grrr Arrgghh

Whoever coined the phrase "it's a small world" obviously never dealt with the postal system!

At the end of November, a lovely Browncoat in Australia order some things from the Firefly Cargo bay secret stash. Not wanting to have to charge her a fortune in shipping, I sent it surface. (I even remember making a joke to her about how they were going to ship it surface over the ocean.) At the time, I asked the postal employee for an estimate on when the box may arrive to Australia. I was given a gruff brush off about it would all be up to customs.

Well, here we are in January and the box has not made it's appearance in AU yet. So, yesterday, thinking the box was lost somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, I sent out a replacement box of items. I went to a different postal branch and asked the different postal employee how long it takes to get things to Australia. She hemmed and hawed, but then reluctantly told me by surface it could take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks! Three months? What do they do, strap it to a sea turtle's back or something?

I then asked for an option with a tracking number, so I wouldn't have to wonder where the package was. By surface, it would still take as long, but cost about $50.00. What? So I asked about air delivery. That would take longer than 4 weeks, but if I wanted a tracking number that would cost $80.00. *Sigh*

So I sent the new box air- with no tracking number. I then said to the postal person, so, theoretically, the original box and the replacement box could get to her at the same time.... She thought about it and said, "Yeah, I guess so." *Bigger sigh*

I knew there would be a learning curve to opening my own "shop", but I didn't realize I'd be hitting such frustration so soon. I went with the postal system thinking it would be the more cost effective method for both me and my customers. Now I think I may have to look into UPS or something.

After all, how can a Browncoat go wrong with a company that asks, "What can Brown do for you?" Stay tuned to find out!

Until next time:
"This must be what going mad feels like."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jumping on the Blog Wagon

Welcome to 2008; the year earthgirl gets her act together! I've joined the bajillions of you out there who are among the blogerazzi. This is a big step for someone who dwells among the technologically timid as I do. I mean, I don't even own a cel phone! (really, I don't.)

So here we are, on my brownish blog. I intend to use this as an outlet for all my Browncoaty thoughts and comments and, well, most likely, ramblings. My brain is completely filled with the shiny 'verse of Firefly and Serenity and I can no longer share these thoughts with my husband. He claims he's "Firefly-ed out." (Can you believe I haven't left him yet after a declaration like that?!!)

This blog will also be used in conjunction with my Firefly Cargo Bay web site(s). The links to them are over there at the left. As of this writing, one of them is still very much blank. But that's a whole other story, and will not be repeated here. It will be up and running sooner than later at this point (I swear!) On this site will be previews of new products and designs for the sites as well as upcoming cons where you will be able to find the Firefly Cargo Bay in the dealer room. Any other shindigs or events that I may be fortunate enough to attend will also be covered on this part of the  cortex.

Also at the left are links to some of my Browncoat brethren out there in the black (hmm.. what is the female version of 'brethren'? Whatever it is, they're there as well.) Take a look around their sites too. I'd take it as a kindness.

Well, that's my hello. I will try to update this blog fairly regularly, although I won't type away if I've nothing to say. So check back from time to time and see what shiny things are going on in my little part of the sky.

And until next time, remember:
"I'll be in my bunk."