Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


It's my anniversary

Can't believe it's been three years already. The time has just flown by.

Three years ago, Chris and I were freaking out his more conservative Greek relatives and the Greek band his mother hired by selecting the following ska song as our first dance, and pogoing around like the wacky punks we are. The DJ's response when we were done was, "Thank you Chris and Nicole for that, um... interesting... first dance." HA!

All Mine
by The Dance Hall Crashers

You're the one I've been waiting on.
What took you, what took you so long?
I'd just about given up on this, oh yeah, oh yeah
Don't you wish that you could go and forget about me?
But that, but that'd be too easy.
Don't you know that you're all mine?
Mine, until, til the end of time.
Because now I've got you and I never wanna let you go.
You can try to run just remember that I told you so.

I look at you and I see myself;
Oh boy, boy do you need help.
Cause your mind's as twisted as mine.
Never thought, never thought I'd find
Any man that could get me to bite at least every,
At least every night
So I'm afraid you're stuck with me,
Hope that makes you, hope that makes you happy
Because now I've got you and I'm never gonna let you go.
You can try to run just remember that I told you so.

You're the one I've been waiting on.
What took you, what took you so long?
I'd just about given up on this, oh yeah, oh yeah
Don't you wish that you could go and forget about me?
But that, but that'd be too easy.
Better be ready to be all mine,
Mine until, til the end of, mine until the end of time.
Because now I've got you and I'm never gonna let you go.
You can try to run just remember that I told you so.

Gonna keep you, gonna keep you for myself.
Gonna keep you, gonna keep you for myself.
Gonna keep you, gonna keep you for myself.


Car Update

For those of you who haven't been following along with the saga of my car, here's a little recap. Back at the very end of January, my car was disabled by a run in with a pothole and a steel plate in the road, the day before we left for our trip to England to meet with the folks at Games Workshop. Delightful timing, yes. When we returned form the trip, I followed the advice of the Seattle police and filed a claim with the City of Seattle. The City sent me a nice post card warning me that it would take them 4-6 weeks to process my claim, and eventually informed me that the issue was to be forwarded to the Seattle Housing Authority, who were responsible for the construction. Seattle Housing Authority took a while to look it over, and then informed me that they were forwarding the issue to the construction company that was physically doing the construction.

Cut to summer, convention season, lots of travel and whatnot. I make a couple of half-hearted calls to follow up but really my plate was too full to worry much about it. The weather was nice, I signed up for Flexcar, and went about my business. Gave serious consideration to just getting rid of the car altogether.

Meanwhile, the molasses-slow wheels of justice have been turning in the background. The construction company forwarded the claim to the subcontractor who they now say have responsibility for making things right. There's some additional controversy thrown in because the construction company admits that the hole developed around their work, but it developed because the city's drainage system was not working properly and water backed up. Seems like I've been caught in the middle.

The wife of the contractor called me today and was wondering what the damage amount was for my claim. I explained that I hadn't taken the car to be fixed because I was not sure of the processes, if there would be a claim adjustor or someone else involved or if I would need to take my car to a particular station for service, and I did not want to undertake significant, unknown repairs without knowing what I was dealing with. As it's now been nine months of being bounced around and waiting, she agrees that I've been "very patient" and she's going to send her husband out to talk to me, probably tomorrow, so we can "come to some sort of agreement."

If I could have my own car in working order before the rains set in, that would be truly fantastic.



From Ross:

Love by ruby mae
Your name
Your partner
You two areSoulmates
Your meeting was byChance
They are yourSoulmate
You are theirOne and only
Your love willBe unconditional
Quiz created with MemeGen!

I suppose "met by getting in a fight on AOL over ten years ago" counts as "by chance," eh?

In other news, my DSL is pissing me off. For a couple of weeks now the DSL modem starts dropping its signal come about 7:30pm and it will not keep a signal (flashing DSL light, then solid for about 30 seconds, then dropped for 10 seconds, the flashing again, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat). I called Earthlink about it, but they've apparently outsourced their technical support to India and I definitely got a woman with a thick accent who was just following along on the screen and no help whatsoever. Yes, I've unplugged, restarted, the computer, the modem, the airport, blah blah blah. I tried all of that before calling tech support. So then they want me to remove my phone filters and surge protection...If it were faulty filters/a new device interfering/my surge protector causing this, why would it have started up all of a sudden, and why only between the hours of 7pm and 7am, not during the day? No, there's something else going on here...

Am thinking about dropping Earthlink's DSL and switching to a cable modem instead, out of sheer frustration.


No Vote Left Behind">No Vote Left Behind

Unbelievably, Chris and I have now gone to shows two weekends in a row. This never happens, but the Rock Against Bush guys and the No Vote Left Behind crowd have pulled out some really great bands that couldn't be missed.

This time it was Pansy Division, Kinski, The Avengers, and Seattle grunge favorites Mudhoney. As you might imagine, it was quite the diverse crowd.

Pansy Division opened the show and I was totally into it, but wow were there a lot of guys in the crows who just didn't know what to think about songs like Cocksucker's Club or Dick of Death. Then Chris Freeman, all 6'5" 165lbs of him, did a quick changed out of his Dick's Drive In into a slinky black slip and feather boa. They rocked out, playing The Summer You Let Your Hair Grow Out, Political Asshole, Fem in a Black Leather Jacket, and I'm Gonna Be a Slut as well as some selections from their new album. We were off to a good start!

Next up was Kinski, which Chris had seen opening for Mission of Burma earlier this year. They had a very Sonic Youth thing going on and I was really into it. Totally different from Pansy Division, they were like four musicians on stage at the same time all doing their own thing. Not a particularly interesting band to watch, as they were all very much into their own thing (and half the time weren't even facing the audience while they played) but I loved the wave of sound they created. Very solid, very interesting musically, I enjoyed them quite a bit.

Next up were the Avengers. Chris was all about seeing the Avengers and bounded down to the front at this point. Back in the day, young Penelope Houston was every punk boy's dream, totally cute, writing kickass songs. Penelope did not disappoint. They played a good selection of their hits, though they played a series of B-sides that I wasn't familiar with. The Amerikan in Me, Car Crash, White Nigger, We Are The One, and Paint It Black were great. Would have liked to hear I Believe In Me (played the hell out of that song when I was getting divorced) or Fuck You, but it was still quite satisfactory.

By this time it was getting fairly late, and comicDavid Cross was slated to appear before Mudhoney. We got to see about 40 minutes of his routine before we had to leave in order to catch the last bus home from downtown. He was funny enough, if a little scattered. He complained that he'd gotten off the plane ony to have "six shots" poured down him backstage; people laughed but I don't think he was lying. Anyway, I'd certainly consider going to see a full routine of his at some point in the future.

Needless to say, we didn't get to hear one note of Mudhoney, but that's ok. I was never a huge Mudhoney fan, and Chris feels they peaked with their first single.

The one drawback of the diverse crowd was that the yuppies who planted themselves behind us were utterly uninterested in anything but drinking and seeing Mudhoney (Chris and I suspect they work with Mark Arm in some cube farm somewhere, as they perked up and started yelling that they wanted to have Mark's love child when he was setting up). One woman was so loud, blabbing away during the rest of the show, that at some points she was actually drowning out the music! I could hear them shouting obnoxiously to each other even though I was wearing ear plugs! Do you know how loud and obnoxious you have to be to drown out a band? God, so annoying. Still, I refrained from punching any of them in the back of the head, yay me.

Tonight Chris is going to yet another show, as The Ex are playing in Seattle. It's music madness here, I swear. I will be picking Kate up from her dad's and going straight to bed. I've been feeling crappy since I got back from Vegas and really shouldn't have gone out last night but forced myself to do so since we had the tickets. Today I suffer for my decisions, but it was worth it.

By Nikchick
On 9/26/04
At 11:44 AM
Comments :No Vote Left Behind">

More GAMA Tidbits

People asked me to find the answers to several questions at the GAMA meeting, if possible. Here are some of those answers.

Anthony Gallela has been appointed as GAMA's new Executive Director. At GenCon, Martin Stever said the plan for the ED search was to announce the position on Monster.com and Craigslist as well as "the usual channels." It wasn't shared with me whether that search happened prior to this appointment.

The Freelancer Track of seminars at GTS '05 will be kept, but the cost for a badge for anyone who isn't a retailer or exhibitor is $150! Badge prices are also going up for retailers ($75 per badge onsite) and for exhibitors ($50 per badge onsite). Academy dues could increase to $50 as well, assuming the Academy survives the OATF process. Independent Academy members and non-exhibiting Communicating Members and Convention Members who want to attend and participate at the GAMA Trade Show will now be expected to pay GAMA between $180 and $200, which comes to half the cost of a Manufacturer's Full Voting Membership, twice the cost of a manufacturer's Associate Membership, 2.6 times the cost of a Retailer Membership.

A rumor that GAMA's financial records were in disarray and being kept on 3x5 cards is UTTERLY FALSE but has been so successfully spread that even some current board members had come to believe it and needed to be corrected and reassured that the rumor IS NOT TRUE.

The lack of a Finance Director or working Treasurer seems to have taken a toll, as I was told the records that the financial condition of the association now is significantly different than the information presented in the GAMA Annual Report in June showed. I did not see any actual numbers, nor was I allowed to participate in the budgeting portion of the meeting, but the Board did kindly bring me up to date on the general conditions so that I could put the doom and gloom "we must cut things to the bone" commentary of the meeting could be put in perspective.


GAMA Fall Meeting Report

I have written up a report from the extensive notes I took during the meeting and posted them at the following URLs for those who are interested:



I may have a few more comments to share, and there are things that I learned outside of the meeting itself, but this will have to do for now. I have Kate's IEP meeting this afternoon and I have to get something to eat before I wither.


Rock Against Bush

We rapidly aging punks joined the kids last night at the Showbox for the Rock Against Bush show. I was mostly there to see Anti-Flag, whose Terror State CD gets a lot of play here.

The show opened with the earnest protest stylings of Mike Park from Plea for Peace which received a polite reception from the attending punks. From there, the show moved into The Epoxies, which were the last thing I expected but were awesome, an unholy fusion of Devo and the Rezillos, fronted by Souxie, with a little bit of Revenge of the Nerds thrown in for good measure. Exceptionally entertaining.

Sadly, the overly testosterone-filled chugga-chugga of Strike Anywhere was not my speed, and while they were tight and animated, I just couldn't get into them, mostly because the femme little lead singer's voice was completely drowned out by the rest of the band. Nor was Midtown at all my style, so for two consecutive bands I pretty much just waited for it to be over. At one point a very drunk frat-boy guy was jumping around right in back of us (where we'd found seats in the "old punks lounge") and I feared he was going to pick that moment to hurl all over. Thankfully he did not, and was shortly thereafter ejected from the venue by the bouncers.

Finally, Anti-Flag took the stage, but the evening's surprises were not all behind us yet. They took a moment to introduce special guest....

Congressman Jim McDermott.

That's right. Before the climax of our punk show, we got to hear from Washington's own progressive, wacky, Fahrenheit 9/11-featured politician. And he was cheered wildly several times by the assembled punks. He encouraged the kids to use "the anger side, not the apathy side" of their punk rock ethic and take control of their futures by voting and motivating others to do so.

Anti-Flag rocked the house and I returned to the happy place I'd reached while the Epoxies were on stage. Returning from the bathroom, I found myself on the floor when the band broke out into Turncoat and I could not keep myself from charging into the pit, fist in the air with the rest of the kids. It was fucking fantastic.

Now off to the GAMA board meeting today.


Sky Captain

Had a night out last night with the family. Took the opportunity to try the family-friendly Mexican restaurant that opened over the summer where the more upscale Deux Tamales used to be. Used to be that Kate was the only kid dragged into Duex Tamales, but El Sombrero lives up to its billing and was packed with families by the time we finished. The food was great, a pleasant bonus.

Watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow at the local newly-restored cinema in Columbia City. Chris and I haven't been to that theater since they were doing fund raiser showings in an empty room on a sheet, with seats of mis-matched benches and chairs. They've turned it into a fully operational theater now, appropriately retro in feel and perfect for Sky Captain.

Kate recognized it as being "like Indiana Jones" though she, like her mom, still prefers Harrison Ford as leading man.


No Opinion?

Still here, though we had a busy week last week with our man from GW in town for meetings and then with my DSL acting completely unreliably when I did find myself with a few minutes to post.

Probably for the best, because I find myself in a really unpleasant mood.

I've never much cared for people who would try to tell me what to think, which of my personal beliefs are acceptable, or whether or not I should be "allowed" to express my opinions. I've seen plenty of evidence this year through the whole GAMA debacle that there are certain people who without question will do ANYTHING they think they can get away with to further their own agendas, including driving smaller companies out of business (to prevent them from "cluttering up" the shelves where the products of the Big Guys more "rightfully" belong), committing invasions of privacy, acts of libel and slander, bribery, applying pressure through personal and professional influence, and outright lying (as long as they believe they will not be caught).

Things have reached such a point in this country that such behavior is not unexpected anymore. Not only is it acceptable to sweep such behaviors aside as "no big deal" and "not worth pursuing" so we can just "get on with business" but those who would use these tactics have become so emboldened by the lack of consequences and the appalling absence of demand for defensible ethics and better behavior that I fear we're in a hole so deep there's no way to live a moral, ethical, honest life of integrity without being personally ruined by despicable retaliations.

Need some non-GAMA examples? Recently Mr. Tynes shared a cute, innocuous link to a site called The Infinite Cat Project. What is it? Pictures of cats looking at pictures of cats. Oh, and if you scroll down a little you'll see the owner of the site is using Cafe Press to sell bumper stickers and things using his little infinity-cat logo...one of which is Kitties for Kerry. Seems FOX news picked up the story of the site's existence, which so enraged their viewers that the poor guy was not only flooded with hate mail, but someone actually made a concerted effort to bring his site crashing down: "The latest trick involved bloating my bandwidth usage by running scripts that continually load and reload my pages. Bandwidth usage has ballooned six-fold since then but the tech's at my host are addressing this problem as I write this. We have the culprit's IP addresses and legal steps will be taken if necessary."

Need more? How about the woman in Alabama fired for her Kerry bumpersticker? Not for campaigning for a candidate in the workplace, nor for proselytizing political ideals on the clock, no... for having a bumper sticker on her own vehicle and for supporting a candidate for President. In what version of tour so-called Land of the Free is this acceptable?

Or how about the fine state of Virginia, which passed this year a restrictive, discriminatory law that goes beyond the bounds of even the odious so-called Defense of Marriage laws that have popped up in recent years. Virginia's law is so broadly defined in its discrimination against gays that it demands the right to deny ANY contract between non-heterosexuals.

Virginia is for Haters tries to expose the situation to people who believe that this sort of legislation is discriminatory, unconstitutional, and needs to be fought. The above link also tells how they, too, were the target of an attack that temporarily forced them off the web. The fact that there IS opposition seems to be too much for these bigots to stand; they've decided that you may not hold or express an opposing view, and they're going to work to fix it until you're silenced.

There was a time when I believed that this kind of thing was an aberration. I wish I could still believe that.


Public School

I got a call from Kate's special ed teacher, who is writing up Kate's IEP. I have an appointment to meet with the school next week about it. It was really a nice conversation, as Michelle really likes Kate and calls her "a wonderful child" and "one of my favorite students of all time" and really gushed about Kate's kindness and caring and poetic expression, called her gifted several times, and is even talking about how Kate's skills are going to carry her far and how well she should be able to do with some accomodations. She was puzzled that Kate only qualified for services in written expression, but guessed that Kate improved enough with the reading room help last year that she's not "enough" behind even though she's not performing to potential. Michelle said that at the end of last year Kate's emotions seemed to be very stable and she doesn't think that's going to be an issue.

Anyway, after last year with her awful teacher, it's been such a relief to hear feedback that recognizes Kate's strengths and doesn't look at her weaknesses as insurmountable.



That didn't take long! It seems there was no shortage of people interested in seeing me attend the GAMA meeting. In less than 24 hours received donations enough to cover the cost of the trip (and offers of more). Apathy will not rule the day, hooray!

Thanks to everyone, even those of you who just wrote with messages of support for my efforts. I appreciate every bit of it.

If you have any questions you would like to see posed to the GAMA board or statements you would like to have entered into the records of the meeting as official communications, please let me know.


Donations Update

People have contacted me to let me know my donation button wasn't working right. I think it's fixed now. Please harass me again if it's still not working!


GAMA Fall Meeting

At the GenCon breakfast meeting, GAMA President Don Perrin could not answer the question of whether or not GAMA members would be allowed to attend but promised to consult with the rest of the board and get back to us. Finally, 12 days before the meeting, they have announced that a block of time would be open on Tuesday morning, but the rest of the meeting would be comprised of "closed working sessions" which the membership would not be allowed to sit in on. The GAMA Retail Board, on the other hand, invites the membership to attend *their* meetings, which will be taking place at the same time, in the same venue.

For the last month, it's been my intention to attend the fall meeting as a GAMA Full Voting Member if allowed to do so by the Board. Of course, now it's far too late to get a decent price on a plane ticket.

Would you like to attend the meeting, but can't get away? Can't afford to attend now that we're in the "under 14-days" window? Would you like to have the chance to have your specific questions (about the bylaws, about the Origins Awards, about GTS and the new venue, about the status of the search for an "excellently qualified executive director," about anything...) presented to the board of diretors, to get official answers? Would you like to have someone there to report back exactly what it is that they're accomplishing, since they're reportedly "working 40 hours a week" on GAMA issues behind closed doors?

I know I certainly would like to see someone from the membership attending these meetings and I'm sufficiently motivated to try a crazy scheme. If I can come up with $300, I can get a plane ticket and a room and attend this meeting. It's too much for me to commit myself on short notice, but for anyone willing to donate to the cause, I will attend the meeting on your behalf as well: give me your questions, your statements, your requests. I will bring them to the board in person, and will attend the open portions of the meetings, and dutifully report back what transpires.

If I don't get enough responses, or collect enough to attend the meeting, I will refund any donations that I do collect.



I made a ham, goat cheese, and artichoke strata from Cooking Light for supper last night. Kate even ate some.

In other news, it's also good for breakfast. Mmmm.


Purse snatcher?

I was cleaning up the dinner dishes tonight when, though my open kitchen window, I heard footsteps, some crashing around in the bushes, and then the sounds of someone scaling my fence and running through my yard. Longtime readers may remember my encounters with horny teens and other wayward teens using my side yard as a shortcut through the neighborhood. I haven't have problems in a while now, but it doesn't surprise me to hear people running around in my yard anymore, either.

Curious, and slightly irritated, I walked out onto the front porch, where I could hear some girls yelling to each other from around the corner. I figured there was some group of kids on their way home, all planning to cut through my yard. Instead, I discovered a couple of girls walking the neighborhood, scanning the yards, looking for something or someone. A car pulled up, and I listened as they talked to the girls on the street.

"Where are they?"
"They jumped the fence..."
"I'll call the police again. Did you find the purse?"

They moved off down the block.

More curious now, I wondered if I should call the police and report the activity in my yard. I held off, and went out the back to look down the alley. From the back gate, I saw two teenage boys. Unsure if they were with the teenage posse or not, I just watched. As a car came past the alley, they jumped into the neighbor's yard and hid in the bushes. Then, from the other direction, the girls' car entered the alley, and the boys ran off empty-handed down the block. The alley is shaped like an L and my house is right at the corner, so I had a view of both directions at once. I motioned the girls in the car to come down to my end, and they told me their friend's purse had been stolen by the two boys. I offered to call the police, they thanked me and drove off in the direction the boys had run.

I called the police, and the woman who answered my 911 call could not have been less interested in my report. She tried to tell me that unless the girls were willing to stay at my house and talk to the police, she wasn't going to do anything, but I pressed her to at least take the information I had (the description of the boys, the car the girls were driving, etc).

A few minutes later I heard more shuffling around in the bushes so I again went out on the front porch. One of the girls was back, this time with a boy. "Did you see them throw anything else?" she asked me. "I only found these things." She held up what looked like a license and some papers. I told her that I hadn't seen anything, but the boys had been hiding in the neighbor's bushes, so they went off to search there. I didn't expect the police to come, but sure enough, two police cars sped around the corner and down the block as I was standing there.

I looked around in the back yard with a flashlight a little while ago. No purse, but I did find a basketball with a name on it.

Chris arrived home about half an hour after this excitement, and told me that on his way home he'd seen five police cars, with lights on, blocking off the area between our house and the freeway. Not sure if it had anything to do with our little purse snatching. Maybe the posse found the boys and gave them a beatdown or something.

Anyway, I figure that's plenty of excitement for me tonight.



Yesterday was a busy, out-of-the-house day. We joined an out of town friend for a tour of the new Science Fiction Museum then high-tailed it home so I could cook for game night. I marinated some flank steaks, cut up some heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and the gang came over for a few rounds of Warhammer combat playtesting.

I've been on a reading kick again and greatly enjoying it, which is especially good since I've been having my four-hours asleep, two-hours-awake nights of sleep again. I absolutely devoured The Time Traveler's Wife, recommended to me just before GenCon by a friend. I'm mid-way through reading The Charnel Prince by Greg Keyes, the sequel to The Briar King which I picked up on a whim and simply couldn't put down. I also recently finished Grass For His Pillow by Lian Hearn, the sequel to Across the Nightingale Floor, which I listened to on CD on a long-haul drive last year. Unsure if the third book in the series (Brilliance of the Moon) was even available, I was thrilled to find it on sale at the Uwajimaya book store on Sunday.

My mom's list has a book club going and I'm working to catch up on the most recent selection (Open Secrets, by Alice Munro) and have the next couple of books on the list already in my possession (Evidence of Things Unseen, by Marianne Wiggins and The Virgin Blue, by Tracy Chevalier). These are definitely not the sorts of books I'd normally pick up for myself, and I'm typically not much of a novel reader at all, so looking at these selections I'm very curious how I will feel about them once I've read them.

One thing the Science Fiction Museum did was plant several classic science fiction titles in my brain for possible fall reading. Sci-fi was even less of my thing than chick novels, with several notable exceptions, and I'm woefully under-read on certain authors. The guys from the Dick House would be ashamed.