Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Honest Jobs

When you're a little operation like Firefly Cargo Bay is, you take jobs when they come. You tend to stay away from the big alliance make work and such.

But there's this place called Dragon*Con, where the geeks inherit the earth (well, at least downtown Atlanta Georgia for labor day weekend anyway). Its siren song has been beaconing me for a year or two now, and in 2008 not only have I given in, but I will be partaking in the mass frenzy of the dealer hall. Scroll down here under 'dealer' to see that we're all official and gonna be there among 40,000 of our newest closest friends. I'm psyched! What I want to see most is Adam Baldwin up close, um uh, no...was that out loud? What I want to see most is the parade on Saturday where the streets between the 4 host hotels become Nerdvanna with the costumed participants displaying their finery. The Browncoats turned out in good numbers last year from what I heard and this year the 76th Independent Battalion will be sporting shiny Browncoat flags that they got from somewhere *wink*

As for other trips out to the black, I've gotten notification that Polaris has received my paperwork application to be int he dealers' room, but they have not cashed my check yet. So Firefly Cargo Bay is still tentatively setting up shop in Polaris' dealer room. I make nothing official until cash has been exchanged. (That's the way of the Companion after all)

Until next time:
"Since I can't find honest work, I might as well become a petty thief like you!"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

If You Can't Walk, You Crawl

Well, I can walk, but if someone wants to carry me anyway....

Ever since FilKONtario, I've been following vixy and Tony's blogs and in one post, vixy mentioned that she is "walking" to all the Filk cons. I thought this was a great idea and decided to track my walking progress and direct it to the Browncoat Ball.

Now, vixy has a pedometer and I do not. But I do have a treadmill which keeps track of how many miles I've, well, tread. I thought that would work just fine, so I calculated how many miles I've walked since I got the machine. It was 96 miles, which sounds pretty impressive to me since I have only owned the thing for less than a month.

BUT when you look on a map, 96 miles doesn't even get me half way to Toronto. It's 1724 (and some) miles from my place to Austin Texas. At three miles a day it would take me 574 (and some) days to get there! Not very inspiring for a workout regiment. So I decided to work it another way. I counted the days remaining until the Browncoat Ball and figured out where I would get to in that time.

I will only be in Detroit in the middle of October at this rate! Very uninspiring when your goal is still 6 States away! I've gone back to other methods of motivation for the treadmill! I should get a pedometer- I walk a lot more off the treadmill than I do on it.

Until next time:
"A man walks down the street in a hat like that, people know he's not afraid of anything."

Monday, April 21, 2008

See Me Do the Happy Dance!

At loooooooong last I can finally and officially report that MY WEBSITE IS UP AND RUNNING! *happy dance*happy dance*

Now, it's still got some adjustments to be made and there are certainly some long over due updates that need to be added, but the bulk of it is there and working. most importantly (well, from a fangirl's point of view that she wants to keep flying) is that the shopping cart section is working.

So, check it out and bookmark it, as I have a lot more stuff to add on to the shop (Independent Flags in 4 sizes-- and some with star color options too!- for example)

Let me know what you think of the site and keep an eye out for updates-

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Little People Serenity

Turns out YouTube rejected my Fisher Price Little People Version of Serenity. The video was too long. So I will re edit it into two parts and that should cut it down enough to repost it.

More waiting- sorry. I hope it will be worth it! :)

EDITED: YouTube now has them up and available for viewing. They are not set to the original music as I indented, but I divided them as best I could to keep the integrity of the original. That means, those of you who saw it at Bards Without Borders are the *only* ones so far to see it in its entirety and original edit. Aren't you special?

Here's the link to part one:

Until next time:
"We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!"

Monday, Monday

So, unfortunately the morning of Monday April 7 came around. One of the reasons Marianne and I didn't force ourselves to bed the night before was sleep would make the morning arrive faster. And Monday morning meant we both had to go back to our respective realities.

But, here it was in front of us. We took our time getting up, as check out wasn't until 1 pm. We knew the Bards were meeting Dave in the A&W across the road around 10 ish, so we headed over there around 9:30. Did you know they have a fairly decent breakfast? I got a yummy french toast for only 5 bucks. Much better than the out of season fruit and burnt pancakes I had at the hotel for $18.00!

While I was eating, my cell phone rang. It was Cedric and he wanted to make sure they got to see me before they headed out for the day and I left too. I told him we were at the A&W and he said, "That's where we're meeting Dave." I said I knew that and that's why I was there! So in short order, we had breakfast with the Bards.

Dave showed up and we all headed back to the lobby (Cedric needed to grab something before they headed out on their Niagara Falls excursion). Filkers were all hustling and bustling about or just hanging out. So, getting caught in conversations, it was well past 11 before the bards were on their way to the Falls. Marianne and I hung out in the lobby, because Mark (my fictitious husband- according to cedric) would be there any minute.

An hour later he showed up (the hotel was on DIXIE road dear, not DIXON road!) So we took Marianne to the bus stop and then headed home. Back to momma-ville. Back to making lunches and doing laundry. Back to tidying up toys and helping with homework.

*Sigh*. How many days until next year's FilKONtario?

Until next time:
"Let's slide right past the part where you explain exactly what that means"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So... What Happened Sunday?

I'm not really sure-- it's all quite the blur...

I know we didn't choose the hotels' breakfast buffet, though! Marianne had the lemon pound cake she brought with her and I downed a couple of those Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts that you can't get here in Canada (hey, the border guy didn't stop her from bringin' 'em in, so...!) Then we went up to the con suite since it was open to check out what was going on there. Nothing was.

We didn't do all that much until the dealers' room opened again. We hung out there most of the day. Not very busy, but that's to be expected on a Sunday of a con. At one point the Bards came in with a Browncoat from Buffalo and one from Hamilton (hi laura! hi kim!). Seems there was a bit of a mix up and they thought the Bards' concert was Sunday, not Saturday! What did they get for missing all the fun? A private concert in the Bards' hotel room. Who? Me? Jealous? Well, duh!

Not much else exciting happened that day that I can remember now (a week later). I know at one point someone walked in carrying a quilt. Marianne asked if that was the one from the silent auction and he said it was, and that he won. This instantly reminded me that I, too, had placed a bid on an item and I completely forgot to check on it. There was only 1/2 hour remaining to pick up auction items, so I dashed off to the main hall. The item on which I had bit was still sitting on the table. As I got closer, I saw that my name was the one highlighted in orange. I won the auction, I won the auction! What did I garner for myself? Well, if you'll forgive the non-Firefly fandom point, I got me this:
So happy me! :)

So anyway, around 3ish I started packing up little things and this snowballed into Marianne and I closing down shop completely. The Bards, Joyce, Dave, Laura and Kim all kept us company and we made arrangements to go to dinner- since we missed the chance of Friday. When all the stuff was stashed in our room, we met in the lobby and headed back to Kelssey's.

Already there were comcons and filk guests. More attendees showed up after we were there, and later we discovered Urban Tapestry and vixy and Tony were on the other side of the restaurant! It was the unofficial filk dining hall! We had a very nice dinner with the crew (despite the wadded up straw paper throwing incident-- I will not say who was all involved!!) and talked about a lot of things. My citizenship was discussed as I am still US citizen but a Permanent Resident of Canada. Cedric asked, "But where do your loyalties lie?" Without a breath I said, "With the Browncoats." Silly question!

After dinner we returned to the hotel and missed saying goodbye to Laura and Kim. Dave left in the parking lot and I eavesdropped on his and the Bards' plan to meet in the morning at the A&W for breakfast. I'm selfish that way ;). We were killing time in the gift shop until the room for the dead penguin filk opened. I bought my daughters' the obligatory gift: a small plush maple leaf on a key chain that plays "Oh Canada" when you squeeze it. I kid you not! I got one for each of my girls and they absolutely love them!

We got ourselves settled in the same seats we had the previous night, under the "Statler and Waldorf" section of the room, as someone so aptly put it! The Bards came in a little while later and I snagged Hawke so he could sign Marianne's copy of his new cd (now available here: ). I was surprised that even when he was done, he took up a seat next to me and not in the filk circle. Not that I minded or anything, but I figured he'd want to join in with the other musicians. Turns out he likes the smaller filk circles and spent the night in the "audience".

This was an awesome night of music. Cedric did the sparrow song- and no one wanted to follow him! Someone even said, "You sucked the energy right out of the room with that one!" (it was said as a compliment, but as I type it, it doesn't look like it. But it was). Someone else took "I Am the Walrus" and made it "I Am the Carpenter" using imagery from "Alice in Wonderland". Tony put down his laptop and stopped blogging to pick up the guitar a few times- one with vixy on Seanan McGuire's "Evil Laugh" (my laugh is an evil laugh! Ha! ha! ha! ha! Die!). Another favorite was "Mordor Bound" to the Simon and Garfunlkle classic "Homeward Bound." And someone even did "I'm Going to Go Back there Someday" acapella. I love any place with two Muppet references in the same night!

There were so many good tunes that night I can't possibly remember them all. Hawke called it a night before midnight and Cedric exited after a rousing gypsy violin number (which had the ladies dancing- and falling- by the bar) around 12 or so. Marianne and I kept saying, "We should go to bed" but never left our seats. Finally, around 1:30, logic took over and we bid farewell to our first FilKONtario. We both decided we're going back next year!

The next post- Back to Reality!

Until then:
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle."

And the FKO Report Continues...

When we last left our fearless crew of Browncoats at FilKONtario 2008, they had just enjoyed vixy and Tony's concert, ending with "Mal's Song". As vixy said, "I think we'll get lynched if we don't do this song!" Do you know how awesome it is to hear 150 people singing " can't take the sky from me..." at the top of their lungs. Oh. So. Shiny.

Anyway, some of the Browncoats went to buy the new vixy and Tony cd and commenced stalking them for autographs. Marianne and I went to the "new" room we were put in and the hotel staff asked where we wanted the chairs. This was odd because they were bringing in semi comfortable ones, when the room was already filled with padded leather swivel ones. Anyway, we told them to put them in a circle and then we moved one of the two long tables in the middle and made for an eating place. When people started showing up we got a rough count of how many would be eating with us and what everyone ate on pizza.

I then left to call for it, but had left coloring sheets and Wash'n'Wear paper dolls and scissors and photo boards to keep the troupes entertained:
The Pizza Pizza guy said it would be about 40 minutes, so after 30 I went to the lobby to wait for the delivery. At 40 minutes there was still no one. At 50 minutes someone joined me in the lobby to see where dinner was (hi Tom!). I asked if they were in there gnawing on the tables in hunger. I was reassured no one was.

By 7pm I was on my cell phone in the lobby trying to find this friggin' driver. They asked me my phone number and I told them I was calling on a different phone in the lobby. The Pizza Pizza operator then asked, "What city are you in?" I knew this was not going to go well! Durng a billion more questions the delivery guy walked in the door. I sort of mobbed him- gave him the money and then saw that Tom had the pizzas. How Tom got sucked into carrying the pizzas I'm not sure but he did a damned fine job! We all ate (finally) drank (thanks to the FKO con suite crew) and were merry (because we are a happy lot.)

By the time everyone had their fill (and Alex walked back in-- almost missed the meal, didn't ya!) it was going on 8 pm. Any schedule I had thought of was now completely out the window. So I asked which of the two activities I had planned would most people like to do. A third option was presented that I didn't even think of-- they wanted to be hypnotized by Cedric again! I apologized for not even considering that, but it did put Cedric on the spot. He rose to the occasion and had all of the room feeling the experience of being on Serenity in flight. I, being in charge of other things, had to opt out of taking part again, but everyone else said they really enjoyed it all.

Closer to nine I cornered the Bards into performing again like the original schedule had intended. We got private concert performances of "Fruity Oaty Bars', "The Ballad of Jayne" and "Leaf on the Wind" among others. We were only about 1/2 way into it when Marsha lamented that she had to go help with the auction but didn't want to leave the private concert. Cedric suggested we all go check out the auction. We all agreed.

The auction. WHAT can I say about the auction? I've been to auctions before. Never one like this one. They had "runners" who would take the items to members of the audience who wanted a better look. They also had "wenches". These were (mostly) women (but Tony helped out too) who would run from bidder to bidder, massaging their shoulders, and sitting on their laps and stroking their hair, trying to get them to bid higher. Once they did, the wenches would run to the second person in the bidding war and pamper them until *they* bid higher- then back to bidder #1. It made for a wild, funny and profitable night for the auction. There were other items that remained in the silent auction that continued into Sunday, but more about that later.

After the auction, most of the Browncoat crew said goodnight and went their way. Those of us who were in for the weekend however were just getting started. Marianne Dave and I went to the Celtic Filk circle in which Cedric was participating. It was fine, if not overly celtic (I don't consider the Rolling Stones to be a celtic band!) The stuff that was celtic was more of the slow melodic type and it was very nice, but not helping keep me awake. I suggested to my sister that we hit one of the other filk rooms or the con suite. It was then she noticed Cedric was packing up too. Great, I was going to look like a stalking fangirl.

About a dozen of us all had the same idea when we invaded the second filk room. Cedric scored a chair and two of the 3 members of Urban Tapestry literally sat at his feet. I no longer looked that much like a fangirl! :) During the night Cedric kept his word of singing "Sail the Sky" with UT. Debbie's beautiful flute solo in the instrumental break made me adore more a song I already love. This room had more of the music that kept us going for a long time. It was 2 am before Dave said his goodbyes and Marianne and I held on until 2:30. Cedric was still going strong, however.

On the way up to the room, we ran into Hawke in the hall coming out of the room in which we had our dinner. It seems there was another filk going on in there and he'd been there all night playing! Ah, the things you learn too late! But we'd had enough and headed up to our room and those night comfy beds that we neither had to share- or make!

More on the remaining day of the con in the next post.

Until next time:
"Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?"

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Few Videos of the 'Verse

You Tube has finished processing the videos I posted. Here's the links:

Motivated by Firefly:

They're still working on The Fisher Price Little People Version of Serenity
I'm not surprised-- it's a long 'un after all!

Until next time:
"I think I might cry!"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

FKO: Day Two

This was the day- the day of Bards Without Borders! I wasn't nervous when I woke up, which, for those of you who know me, is really weird. Enthusiasm spills over and I talk way too much and end up physically vibrating! But I was fine this particular day, so we went down to the lobby for the restaurant's breakfast buffet. It was advertised as quite the bounty, but what they actually had was less than stellar. We did get to sit near the Bards (and we all behaved and didn't throw food!). This allowed us to overhear all the comments they got from people looking forward to their concert that day.

When we were finished we decided to head out and get the room for the events ready. The bill came and I almost fell out of the bench- it was our most expensive meal so far in the weekend! And our other two were lunch and dinner at Kelsey's!! Mental note- do not go back to the Delta hotel breakfast buffet!

We got into the room and the sun was shining right inside. I closed some of the curtains because they were making the light hit the table where the Bards would be sitting for their Q&A. They showed up and got situated and they had an audience of me, Joyce and Marianne. We talked for a while, then another couple came in, and then some more people (hi sue! Hi elizabeth!) and then some more people (hi marsha! dave! mike! laurie! and other's I don't know your names!) There were some good questions and Hawke answered in great detail. Cedric got a word or two in as well.

When the hour was wrapping up, Marianne and I went over to the dealer room to open up shop as Cedric took over for his hypnosis session. I had to sneak back into the room twice to get things (stealth-- there are other schools of thought.) When I returned for the remainder the whole session seemed to be going well. Comments from the audience confirmed this thought. By this time the room was boiling in the sun, so we kicked on the air conditioning (remember the comments in yesterday's post about SNOW!! Welcome to Spring in Canada!)

It was nearing the end of the hour and the concom people started dropping off the equipment for our video hour. Now, I'm a geek, but not a techno geek. I was so glad that there were 4 people setting up the a/v stuff. During this time the room filled up nicely and we were going to have a full crowd for the show. You know how I said I wasn't nervous before? This started changing when the video set up was not working and nothing was going right. Here sat a room full of people and I may have no means to entertain them. My heart was going faster and faster. I made some comment about having to resort to shadow puppets which got a little laughter. That eased the tension I felt a little, but not a lot. Then someone mentioned something about a back up system and thought's of Mal on Mr. Universe's planet dashed through my head.

In what seemed like the longest time ever, Sally returned with the back up system and got it all hooked up. We had showtime! (and I sighed the biggest sigh of relief *ever*!). My programing started off with a clip of the Bards performing "The Ballad of Joss" and after the line "... til all those crazy Browncoats rise again" I hear Hawke shout from a few rows back "AND WE WILL!" right in time with video Hawke! The clip ended and then I didn't know how to use the play station controls to choose the next clip. I pressed every button-- except the right one. Dave came up from behind, pressed the right one and the show continued. Good thing Dave was there throughout the weekend (hugs, Dave!!)

Next up was one of my Fisher Price Little People version of Firefly. Then the bootleg gag reel from the series. It was during this that some nasty squeezles must have chewed on the wires to the equipment- everything went white! I panicked! But that's one thing about being at sci fi themed cons- geeks everywhere! It took a simple thought of unplugging it and plugging it back in after the machine cooled down to get the show going again. I personally didn't lay a finger on the machine-- that's how inept I am at technical and a/v stuff. I 'd end up breaking it!

So the show continued with a fan vid of "Mal's Song" and other Serenifly stuff. My slideshow of "Motivated by Firefly" went over very well as did the world premiere of "The Fisher Price Little People Version of Serenity". We ended the program with the Canadian made parody "Mosquito". Lots of laughter was heard throughout the show and it made me very happy to have been there to witness that kind of feedback.

The group of Browncoats then gathered and went for an extended lunch. Marianne and I womanned the dealer room. Near 3 pm it was time for the Bards' concert in the main hall. They were pretty much ready at three even though the show didn't start for another 15 minutes. They did a"sound check" of "Whiskey in the Jar" that set the mood for the whole show. Not long into it though, Hawke broke hi sG string right on stage! (okay, actually it was a D string, which Tony - of vixy and Tony- pointed out, but that's not nearly as much fun to talk about.) While he adjusted his accouterments, Cedric played the funeral song from the episode "The Message." I have neaver heard them perform this before and I absolutely love Greg Edmonson's original on the soundtrack. So, naturally, it was at this time my con crud acted up and I had a coughing fit. Grr Arrgh! I hastily exited for the washroom until I could get it under control. (thank you sue for video taping the whole concert!!)

During a pause Cedric told the people who did not know what Firefly was to get in touch with one of us with loaner copies so that when the Bards came back, they'd know what the songs were about. Someone in the back called out, "Are you coming back?!" Cedric replied, "Ask Firefly Cargo Bay!" At this I called up, "Why don't you just *stay*?" Dave - the Bards' guide and personal bank for the weekend- was quick on the wit and answered from the side of the room "Because I can't afford it!"

The show went well but they had to trim their usual closer numbers. They ended with "Freedom Costs" and everyone joined in and shook the walls. It was great. Next up were the guests of honour, vixy and Tony. I knew I was staying for this concert too (as my poor sister dealt with the dealer table all by herself) because I knew not only "Mal's Song" but a few of Michelle's other tunes. Let me tell you, that duo took control of their set! I was pleased to see that the Browncoats that arrived to see the Bards stayed for this show as well. Immediately after it ended they all rushed to the dealers' room to buy the pair's new cd!

Next post- the evening of Bards Without Borders!
Until next time:
"Yep. That went well."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The FilKONtario Report: Day One

Covering the goings on a con takes way too many words for one post, so I'll break it down into different ones and try to be brief (ha ha ha ha!)

My driver (hi gary!) and I left in the rain about 9 am and headed west to Toronto. The drive was uneventful except for the rain that turned to snow and lots of it. Horizontal snow because of the 100 km winds whipping across the country. No fun. I felt especially bad because this was the day the Bedlam Bards were touring around Toronto with their local guide (hi dave!). They weren't too happy about it either, but hey, they came to Canada, we gave them winter!

We arrived at the Delta around 11 am and found my sister (hi marianne!) sitting in the lobby with some "hard core" filkers. It wasn't long before we found someone official looking with the con (turned out to be dave- another dave) and he got us a key to the dealers' room. I needed to stash the huge pile of stuff somewhere, as our room wasn't ready. We did that and then went for some lunch.

When we got back our room wasn't ready, but they gave us another one. This was good because Marianne had been up for 28 hours straight. We got in and did some napping. At 2:30 I reluctantly woke her up as we had a dealer table to set up at 3 pm. We got into the room and started unpacking. I brought WAY too much stuff again, but it all worked out okay as there was room for an extra table. They asked me if I wanted it and I'm no fool-- (keep your comments to yourselves!)

During unloading I heard familiar voices in the hall. I turned and saw Cedric and Joyce. Huge hugging ensued. I apologized to them for the weather. I told them I scheduled warmth and sunshine to come up from the States for the whole time they were here, but it got stuck in Customs and wouldn't arrive until tomorrow. Joyce looked so frozen! We talked briefly and then went back to our work (the Bards had a sound check soon and they needed to grab the instruments).

Found room for more of the stuff on the tables and remembered why Marianne is the schlepper extraordinaire! She had lots of cleaver ideas (and now says she's done for the year with them) and the booth really came together nicely. See:

So the booth was done and the sales started pretty much at an overlapping time. We stayed in the dealers' room until they closed for the wedding that was taking place that evening.

There was a lack of communication, so we missed having dinner with the Bards. :( But we were back in plenty of time for the opening ceremonies and the FKO 19 preview concerts. First up was Urban Tapestry- three women with great voices and a sense of fun. Following them was Heather Dale. After 2 songs, I was an official fan! She's amazing and sings of strong women and has such an eclectic source of musical base that I was drawn in instantly. They only reason I didn't come home with one of her cds this weekend was I took too long in deciding which one I wanted and she had to leave earlier than I and took her supply with her. This, my friends, is why I love the internet!

After the concert, we headed up to the con suite for the cd launch party of vixy and Tony's release "Thirteen". It was packed and the two of them were over in the corner surrounded. We ran into Hawke and talked to him for a good long time. It was well after midnight when we started drifting towards the door. We were going to hit some of the filk circles, but decided to hit the beds instead. Saturday, after all, was going to be a busy day.

Until next time:
"That there - exactly the kinda diversion we coulda used."

Monday, April 7, 2008


OMG-- more fun than I could have imagined- that's what this past weekend's FilKONtario and Bards Without Borders can be summed up as in one line. I can't do a full post on it all, as I've just gotten home and it's all a swirling fun crazy happy blur that I need to process in order to sort. (my new cd of vixy and Tony's music is currently playing-- very loudly!!-- on iTunes as I'm typing this)

I will do a complete post as well as include pictures in the coming days.

As I've gotten extremely little sleep in the past 4 days, I offer the following quote
Until next time:
"I'll be in my bunk"