Date Archives April 2008

Hope *isn’t* the only bee that makes honey without flowers

Today, as I drove to work in bright sunshine under clear blue skies, my windshield was pelted with droplets. This would be merely unusual and not cause for a face of horror and concern were I not driving directly behind a Honey Bucket truck.

The name Honey Bucket alone in reference to a port-a potty makes me want to (a)retch and (b)never consume honey again.

Suddenly, Winnie the Pooh makes sense.

AND IS SO GROSS.

Touch My Body

Here are (and I’m sure you’ve been awaiting it anxiously) my thoughts on the Open-Source Boob Project (OSBP). I’m loath to link directly to someone so clearly looking for Internet Fame, but if you want to go to the source and read it, I’m sure Google can help you.

For those of you unfamiliar with the OSBP, basically, a guy and his group of friends went around to a couple of conventions and asked women if they could feel their breasts; it’s indicated that this was mostly done in a circle of friends, though some strangers were asked; at a future con, they devised a system wherein women would wear green or red buttons signifying that “Yes, you may ask to touch my breasts” or “No, you may not ask to touch my breasts”, respectively, stressing that this program was ‘opt-in’ and those not wearing buttons would ‘never be asked’, and that women wearing green buttons could always refuse. (How are you going to recruit more women to your party, one might wonder, without asking non-button-bedecked women to opt-in?) In his posts, the author also indicated that the group approached women who were ‘dressed to impress’…so I guess it’s opt-in unless you’re just too goddamn hot or dressed like a whore and therefore ‘asking for it’.

Here is why I think this whole thing is dangerous. I have no problem with a group of people who want to get together and grab each other’s boobs. Cthulhu knows that Laura and I had a field day at Dragon*Con in the room party judging the ‘best ass contest’, so I’d like to make it clear that I’m not intending to come off as a hypocritical prude. Have fun. Go nuts. Grab nuts.

I have a problem with taking an experiment done mostly with friends, and extolling its virtues in a large con environment where results are likely to be MUCH different. Many people are far more comfortable around their friends than they are around strangers, and so with friends, you can push comfort boundaries a bit and people are less likely to end up hurt, offended, terrified, or worse.

If you were a single woman ‘dressed to impress’ via cosplay or simply a nice outfit, and you were approached by a group of strange men who asked you straight out for a favor that was sexual in nature, how would you feel? Even in a con environment, with hundreds or thousands of people milling around nearby, there is still a huge power shift in favor of the group of males, who could, in all fairness, quite easily drag you off. If you give them what they want, will they go away? Or will they ask for more? If you deny them, what will happen? Is it more or less dangerous for you to acquiesce?

I don’t disagree that men can be sexually assaulted and even raped, and that the double-standard shouldn’t exist (just look at the difference between the way that males have to treat female strippers versus how females treat male strippers–men can look but not touch, while women practically ATTACK the men). However, in this instance, I don’t think it’s unfair to discount attacks on men from the equation entirely, for the following reasons: When a group of men approach a woman and ask her for a sexual favor, men are most decidedly the aggressors, and furthermore, there is no reciprocity in the OSBP. Oh, sure, some men offered to allow women to feel their chests or grab their bum, but there is no direct male equivalent for breasts. Penis-touching was disallowed because it was ‘too sexual’ in nature, whereas boob-fondling….is not? There we have it, folks: This is merely a guy’s elaborate excuse to get his hands on some titties, and if you refuse him, you’re the one with the problem, so bound are you by social mores!

Furthermore, this is a direct quote: “Unfortunately, I can’t decry the process of “asking repeatedly,” mainly because it’s the only stimuli a lot of women respond to. Frankly, I think any woman who has to be begged fifteen times before she eventually accepts should be drug into the back alleyways and beaten, because her rampant need for a string of pleadings trains the wrong sort of men that no doesn’t mean no. And then we should go beat up the men for good measure.” (edit: This is a quote from 2005 and was not stated in reference to the OSBP. I apologize for the error, though I still believe it is an important insight into his character and demeanor towards sexuality.)

Yes, there exists a subset of women who want you to PROVE how much you want them before they give in, and I’ll further agree that the women who do that train men that if they ask repeatedly, a future answer is more likely to be ‘yes’. HOWEVER, not decrying it within the scope of the OSBP is tantamount to saying that everything he said earlier about the project being opt-in is a load of freshly-shoveled manure, since he does not truly believe that no means no. So at conventions, does the red button on one’s chest mean NO, or in this guy’s mind, does it mean ‘No until you ask me often enough’? Far from teaching that subset of women anything, I believe that it further reinforces the idea to MEN that it’s ok to ask ad nauseum as it improves your chances, with the originator of the project’s blessing.

The greatest evil from this madness, unfortunately, is that even though the author has posted and NOW suggested that people not try to recreate his experiment, is that you can’t put the cat back into the bag. Even if this schmo doesn’t attend any convention in my area, there are plenty of people who read what he had to say, buy into the idea that second base is totally ‘freeing’ and ‘healing’, and want to grab some titties themselves. How many people are going to ask to touch your boobs at San Diego Comic-Con? At PAX? At Dragon*Con? At GenCon? Will they be more or less respectful than the originators of the idea? Is this something you should *have* to be concerned with when all you wanted to do was drool over Jamie Bamber a little bit, and maybe run up to Kevin Sorbo clapping your hands and squealing ‘Hercu-LES! Hercu-LES! Hercu-LES!’?

You want to grab some titties? Fine. Just keep it to your rooms. Do you really want to give attractive women another reason not to attend conventions?

An Open Letter To The Douche Who Has Been Breaking Car Windows At My Apartment Complex

Dear Douche Who Has Been Breaking Car Windows At My Apartment Complex,

Your life has brought you down such an interesting career path! I am certain that petty theft and vandalism have netted you far more financially and morally than forty hours a week of working as a french fry cowboy, so kudos to you! If you make your way around to my vehicle, I would like you to note a few things:

*There is nothing of value in the car; the stereo system is stock and all of the junk on the floor and in the backseat is actually junk. If it were valuable, I wouldn’t be leaving it in my car with crowbar jockeys like you roaming around.

*I am not entirely opposed to vigilante justice, and, in fact, feel that individuals who render ‘services’ such as yours are wastes of resources, even cyclically-replenishing ones such as oxygen.

If you still feel you must enter my car and take a look around, perhaps you may want to try the door first; given that I drive a quality American-made vehicle, I have been unable to lock it for the last year as the alarm system randomly sounds throughout the day and night when the door locks are activated.

We live in a world where few traditions are reverently upheld; however, if you’re a purist and must break a window, may I suggest that you go for the plexiglass window instead of the safety glass? It’s much more likely to slice your arm and hit an artery, whereas the safety glass was truly intended for my protection and not yours.

In conclusion, eat a dick. Or nine of them at once.

Love,

Mellzah

Children in the office shouldn’t be seen OR heard.

It’s ‘bring your obnoxious brat to work’ day. If I wanted to work in an environment with screaming children, I’d still be at Legoland, thanks. Or I’d apply at Chuck E Cheese to experience the more vibrant, resonating, ear-piercing indoor scream.

I sort of wish I could get them to chase a ball out into the street.

What’s the point of today, anyway? What with all of the running down the halls, destroying my work on the whiteboards, and shitting on the floor, all it does is turn the office into a goddamned daycare and they view work as a big playday. If you’re going to bring them here, at the very least, you can start the process of crushing their spirits for the eventual soul-sapping office-job drudgery they’re destined for.

When I’m dictator, I’m going to be an advocate of child labor–why shouldn’t they sew and make handicrafts? Their eye-hand coordination will never be better, and their fingers will never be more nimble!

Mellzah’s Midnight Carnival

For as long as I’ve been planning this event, you’d think by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I’d be relaxed and ready to go. This indicates that you don’t know me very well–if I’m not cursing and furiously working on something up until the very last minute, it means I didn’t set the bar nearly high enough. As it was, there were a few things I would’ve liked to get done that were eliminated from the mix, but as they were decorative touches and not absolutely necessary, it wasn’t going to bring the party to a crashing halt.

The one thing that WAS necessary that didn’t get taken care of, I didn’t have any control over. I apologize to anyone who showed up and had to pay for their own food; that was not part of the original agreement. It was sprung on me as I walked in the door at 5 to begin setting up, and at that point, it’s not enough notice to get a large amount of food from anywhere. However, no one starved to death on my watch, and that’s the important thing.

The first order of business was getting my decorations up. I decided that I wanted to paint a bunch of cloth banners like the ones they hang outside of freak shows at fly-by-night carnivals; originally I wanted to do one for every performer, but the pictures I got from Pure Cirkus didn’t show most of their faces very clearly, and I didn’t want to offend anyone as I’m not exactly the greatest artist. Also, I just plain ran out of time.

232_12882653939_6845_n

232_12882633939_5744_n

As you can see, I painted myself in as a flaming pole-smoker.

I pushed for people to show up at six, but most people were running behind; we ended up pushing the start of the show back until seven in order to give the bellydancer time to finish getting ready, and hopefully have a few more people for her to perform for. In the meanwhile, conceptcanibal‘s mom, Jodi, read tarot cards for those who wanted them read.

232_12882658939_7157_n

232_12882648939_6562_n

After one of the members of Pure Cirkus kindly offered to run sound for the show, Sephira took the stage. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but she was covered head to toe in glitter, which made her glow onstage in a particularly captivating way.

232_12882628939_5470_n

232_12882618939_4922_n 232_12882613939_4595_n 232_12882608939_4268_n  232_12882598939_3679_n 232_12882593939_3424_n

During one of her dances, she danced out into the audience and draped a red scarf onto me and gave me a card that was tucked into the front waistband of her outfit. In the dark, no one can see you blush!

While the next act got ready, some Pure Cirkus performers wandered out on stilts into the audience, juggling, and interacting with the guests.

232_12882638939_6023_n Here, my flash has blinded James and Katy. I also blinded Mad Mat, who dropped his lemons. I have a whole series of ‘Here, my flash blinded _____’ pictures. I may have to make a coffee table book. Next up were some acrobalancers, whose act I didn’t see as I was in the back having my cards read. Stayce grabbed my camera and got this shot:

232_12882678939_8337_n

 

After they were done, it was time for the first burlesque dancer.

232_12882688939_8945_n

232_12882683939_8637_n     232_12882708939_77_n 232_12882703939_9807_n 232_12882698939_9510_n 232_12882693939_9263_n 232_12882748939_1912_n

232_12882768939_2861_n

Next came Phoenix, the contortionist; the MC observed that just watching her throws his back out on occasion. Please do not attempt this at home, thanks. Or if you do, don’t blame me when your foot goes flying across the room in a horrible accident.

232_12882863939_9280_n  232_12882848939_8305_n   232_12882833939_7285_n 232_12882828939_6973_n 232_12882823939_6586_n 232_12882818939_6206_n 232_12882813939_5890_n 232_12882808939_5547_n 232_12882803939_5147_n  232_12882793939_4440_n 232_12882788939_4086_n 232_12882783939_3762_n 232_12882778939_3451_n

 

After Phoenix in the lineup came Inga Ingénue, the ‘Little Blonde Bomb’ and one of the founding members of Sinner Saint Burlesque.

232_12882868939_9610_n  232_12883513939_9422_n 232_12883503939_9001_n 232_12883498939_8750_n 232_12883493939_8445_n 232_12883483939_7957_n 232_12883473939_7380_n

232_12883538939_810_n 232_12883533939_543_n 232_12883528939_282_n 232_12883523939_9977_n

232_12883543939_1094_n

232_12883548939_1365_n

232_12883558939_1909_n

At this point in her act, she paused, and the music paused as well. From the back, reliable George piped in with an ‘AWWWW c’mon!’, which set everyone laughing. jimhark later remarked that it was the funniest thing he’d heard in the club for weeks. George claims that he was into the music and was upset they’d paused it, but I believe you and I can agree that’s a total lie. After her act, the MC came back on and laughed that George was just acting as an advocate for the rest of us, which seems to fit the situation a little better!

When Inga left the stage, it was time for more acrobalancing. Watching this act made me sad I’d missed the first round!

232_12883568939_2443_n

232_12883618939_5589_n  232_12883608939_4893_n

232_12883603939_4550_n

232_12883598939_4241_n

232_12883593939_3939_n

232_12883588939_3670_n

232_12883583939_3329_n

232_12883578939_3053_n

232_12883573939_2736_n

232_12883613939_5242_n That is the best face in the history of ever.

Wrapping up the show was Mad Mat, the Indestructible Man. Even after I blinded him, he bravely forged ahead and went through with his act.

First, he climbed a ladder of swords.

232_12883623939_5909_n

232_12883628939_6218_n

Next, he bent some steel rebar using the hollow of his throat.

232_12883633939_6531_n

232_12883643939_7164_n

232_12883638939_6845_n

Earlier, he’d approached me and asked me if I was still relatively sober; he wanted me to walk on him wearing NAIL BOOTS. However, he was concerned that I’d hurt MYSELF by twisting an ankle or something. I was way more concerned about stabbing him through the gut with 100 nails, frankly, so I’m sort of glad they decided against it, once again, out of concern for MY safety. (I emphasize this because it blows my mind).

232_12883653939_7467_n

232_12883658939_7804_n

To demonstrate that the bed of nails didn’t retract, Mad Mat had audience members throw apples at the bed, which promptly stuck. This was a *nasty* bed of nails, folks. Sharp AND rusty. The MC claims Mat gets a tetanus shot every 6 weeks or so; I don’t disbelieve it.

Before one can go to bed, however, one must dress down appropriately. Mat? Prefers to sleep in lace underwear with garters.

 

232_12883668939_8470_n

232_12883673939_8815_n

232_12883678939_9164_n

232_12883683939_9506_n

232_12883688939_9853_n

232_12883698939_589_n 232_12883693939_238_n

 

Afterward, Mad Mat gave himself what’s known as a ‘steel vasectomy’ by bending steel rebar around his junk.

232_12883708939_1322_n

232_12883703939_987_n   232_12883718939_2123_n 232_12883713939_1709_n I lied. THIS may be the best face in the history of ever.

232_12883723939_2505_n

232_12883728939_2883_n While Mat put his clothes back on, LuckyHenny Penny stuck a wooden skewer up into her head. Up. In. Her. Head.

232_12883733939_3258_n

232_12883748939_4009_n

And then she walked over to me to pull it out. To pull it out of her head.

232_12883753939_4388_n I think that Mad Mat would make an imposing figure on Iron Chef.

This trick is called the ‘Sword Guillotine’.

232_12883758939_4771_n

232_12883763939_5156_n

232_12883773939_5980_n 232_12883768939_5567_n

232_12883783939_6359_n

After nearly getting his head chopped off, Mad Mat then proceeded to catch a bullet; Xavier passed the bullets around allowing anyone who wanted to inspect them to look and touch them to ensure they’re real bullets. He then called me onstage to watch him load it into the gun.

It’s a tense moment.

232_12884008939_1638_n

232_12884013939_1899_n

232_12884018939_2130_n

Moments later, Mat presented the bullet to everyone. I figured that was the zenith of the evening. Oh no. Mat had one more trick up his sleeve for everyone.

 

232_12884023939_2368_n

232_12884028939_2617_n

Xavier locked him into a restraint belt with multiple Master locks on it. This restraint belt was hooked to a winch, which pulled him toward a contraption with four swords and two running chainsaws on it; if Mat didn’t free himself in time…well, it was hard to watch. (He’s wearing one of my little mustache buttons!)

The outcome? Here’s another ‘video’:

As you can see, he cut it really close. After he freed his arms, he pulled a bobby pin out of his mouth to pick the locks; by the time he finished picking them, he was within inches of being chainsawed to death. You can also see that toward the end, Xavier started to lean over the machine to (I’m guessing) know if to activate a safety mechanism to keep Mat from being chainsawed to death. No one wants a violent chainsaw death at their birthday party!

Afterward, Xavier rounded up everyone so I could get a photo taken with them:

232_12884038939_3129_n

 

Given that it was a Sunday night, hardly anyone could stay very late, so I didn’t get too many pictures of my friends, unfortunately. Also, unfortunately, very few people grabbed cake before they left, so I still have half of girlpirate‘s mustache man:

232_12884043939_3384_n

I like that people took pictures in my amazing gloryhole wall, though!

 

232_12884053939_3869_n

232_12884058939_4089_n

It also makes me laugh to see Nicole checking out the painted chick’s boobs.

During the caking and drinking hour (during which I am thrilled no one choked to death on the Swedish fish in my FeeJee Mermaid shot), I put on a second mix cd I made–you know those natural lulls in conversation where everyone stops talking? This–and I couldn’t have timed it better if I planned it–is exactly when Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ started playing. That’s right. I RickRolled EVERYONE. And then we all shared a moment of dancing like Rick Astley.

I wrapped up the evening chatting and laughing with v1c1ous, Ryan, Iva, Tristan, and Sean’s friend whose name is either Amanda or Jessica but I can’t remember which because I am a terrible person.

So many wonderful people made it out to my party; lots of people I never expected to attend, even. When I think about it, it almost makes me want to cry. It’s hard for me to believe that only a few short years ago, I really didn’t know any of them. Thank you to everyone who came or called or sent cards…you make my world a much better place by being in it.

I spent the last few minutes of my birthday walking Napoleon, with my headphones blasting, and dancing like a jackass. No fewer than three people saw me do this. I may be a year older, but as far as being wiser goes, nothing at all has changed.

This is Valloween; Everybody Scream!

AKA: How to Half-Ass A Costume So Spectacular You Are Permanently Disqualified From Future Costume Contests.

Saturday night was Valloween, a party combining both Halloween and Valentine’s Day in a celebration of love and murder. Naturally, there was a costume contest. Since the moment I was invited, I’d been thinking about costumes and feeling discouraged, because I was sure that every idea I liked would be from sources as unrecognizable as last year’s Annie Wilkes.

Then, as I awoke one morning, inspiration struck. Who better embodies the two facets of love and murder than Two-Face? It’s got nerd cred. It’s topical, with the new Batman movie coming out this summer and a strong ‘I support Harvey Dent’ viral marketing campaign. It’d be a fun costume. That same day, I ran out and got a suit jacket from Value Village that made me look like the captain of the Love Boat, and also promptly set it aside to continue working on stuff for Mellzah’s Midnight Carnival.

This was a mistake. Had I not waited until the day before Valloween to start working on my costume, I would’ve known earlier that Captain Merrill Stubing’s jacket didn’t want to absorb any color, and I wouldn’t have had a moment of mad panic. Having swept two Halloween costume awards in a row, this particular party crowd expects big things from me. WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO?

Step one: Look at failed costume. Moan in despair. Have a (slight) hissy fit.

Step two: Take inventory of all the costume bits and bobs you have lying around, and any supplies you have to potentially make or accessorize a costume.

Step three: Talk with a spooky costume guru–mine is shadowstitch. He ran with my Two-Face idea and tossed out a bunch of other characters with multiple faces. When he landed on the Mayor of Halloweentown, I knew he had saved Christmas.

Step four: Grab the paper that you intended to use for large drink menus but ran out of time. Figure out how to roll it into an appropriately-shaped cone. Curse at it a little bit. Realize you don’t have enough hands to hold it and tape it in all of the proper places. Curse at it a lot.

Step five: Bust out the paint and touch up a rubber squeaky spider. You may want to accidentally squeak it while painting it, convincing your dog that SURELY you are holding HIS toy hostage, so he will whine and moan and attempt to snatch it out of your hands for the remainder of the time you’re working on it. While you’re at it, mix up some paint for the head and mayoral badge.

Step six: Find a button you’re willing to sacrifice. I picked one I should’ve thrown out years ago, but was afraid that someone digging through my garbage would find it and some junk mail in my name and associate it with me. Glue this pin to the back of the mayoral badge you’ve painted.

Step seven: Realize you’re never going to make the other event you scheduled for the evening, start to panic and feel like an asshole because you’re missing deqlan‘s birthday. Take a hairdryer and start blasting the head, squeaky spider, and mayoral badge. This would be a good time to burn your hand. This would also be a good time to again accidentally squeak the rubber spider, re-alerting your dog to its presence.

Step eight: In your rush, slop paint on your clothes. Curse some more. It helps.

Step nine: More hairdryer.

Step ten: Fabulousness!

 

When I arrived at safetymonkey’s place in my half-assed costume, people immediately started asking if the head flipped around. When I showed them it did, there were audible groans of “aww fuck, she’s won again. Right there. She just won.”

Jon greeted me at the door and exclaimed that he was wondering when I’d show up and had hypothesized that I was just tired of winning. Nosir!

At the party, the ‘STD Fairy’ decided to give me gonorrhea, which, incidentally, is the one STD I can’t seem to remember how to spell. At the very least, now I know that the wikipedia entry for ‘sexually transmitted disease’ is blocked by my workplace filters. Apparently, when they sent out that handbook instructing us how to self-treat STDs, that was meant to be the last word on the subject!

When it came time to announce the contest winners, Jon stepped up and proclaimed, “There have always been two costume contest categories at our parties; best costume, and best worst costume. The time has come where we feel that we must add a third. This new category is the ‘Melissa’ category, as we feel it is unfair to make mere mortals compete against her, and otherwise she’ll continue to sweep the best costume category. ”

So, I’ve won, but I’ve also been permanently disqualified from the regular contests. Does this mean that in the future, all I’ll have to do to win my special ‘Melissa’ prize is not change my name and just show up? Time will tell!

Oppressive Silencing

A petition has been circulating around the places I frequent online, urging people to further spread it to reach its goal of collecting one million signatures. The purpose? To stop Uwe Boll from making more movies.

I have stated before that while he doesn’t make great movies, at the very least, he makes entertaining ones. Some may argue that he’s entertaining through utter ineptitude, and that getting B-movie laughs isn’t the same as writing something witty, but I think that’s missing the point.

So, Boll makes movies that you don’t like. So? I don’t like fanfiction or furry porn or magazines where the guys on the front are so muscle-y that you can see every one of their veins in bulging detail. I know I don’t like these things, so I don’t read, watch, or buy them. Who then, exactly, is forcing you to sit in a theater and watch Uwe Boll movies? Is it at gunpoint? Knifepoint? Or just the utter fanboy obsessiveness that dictates that if a movie is being made on a subject you’re tangentially interested in, you MUST see it?

While you think that passing around these petitions might eliminate that temptation or morbid curiosity from your life, I see it as something far more sinister. You’re trampling on speech; the best, truest, and most free thing we have. It’s what allows me to bitch about recycling one day, and insinuate I would do terrible, terrible things to Johnny Depp in the dark of the night the next. I spout my opinion off regularly, uninvited, and most of the people who read this do the same; no one tells you to shut up or stop writing, and if they did, I doubt any of you would take heed. Many people who read this are artists or musicians–would you stop creating art or music if someone told you that your work is crappy and offensive?

What’s the difference between stifling your personal speech and stifling his creativity?

Swamp Thing

I’m giving Lush’s Brazened Honey fresh face mask a whirl, though I’m really not certain if face masks/exfoliants/teeth whiteners ACTUALLY make my skin/teeth look prettier or if it’s just because compared to being covered in clumpy goop, ANY SKIN would look shiny/fresh/pretty.

Also, Fonz. EEeeeeeeeeeeyy!

Box copy is full of lies.

To switch things up at lunch, I bought a box of Truly Indian’s Aloo Matar, which is, according to the back of the box, ‘the paragon of authenticity’.

It smells like Chef Boy-Ar-Indian and sort of looks like it was ejected from Satan’s asshole. Blech.

Should I eat it? Please support your case with reasons why this should or should not be ingested.