Friday, December 19, 2014

The Duelists

So... I'm kind of too lazy to say anything about myself or my own life, but I know enough to know that it's important to do things with regularity.  And I'm trying to be better at that, at least until my crippling anxiety and depression come back and kill it.  So I'm going to share a little secret with you. 

If you've ever been to the Renaissance faire (in this case, specifically Pennsylvania, Louisiana, or Las Vegas... is that right?), you've maybe seen these guys:

The Duelists!  The dark, smouldering one on the right is one of my very dearest friends in the world, and he's also a talented combat choreographer/designer, so you should maybe hit him up if you need some fancy fights in your life. 

You can also ogle more pictures (They're both kind of gorgeous, right?) here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One more for 2014

Looks like I was doing great at updating this monster... until the Windy City Burlesque Fest kicked my ass and turned my head in hazy circles around Russell Bruner.  My June-time last cryptic post makes that pretty obvious. 

I mean, he *is* gorgeous.  And talented.  And a living, breathing, cartoon-character of a man. 

But that's all, I guess. 

Winter's always been notoriously terrible for my wallet.  I'm trying to eke one more big job out of 2014, but that probably won't happen, all things considered.  I'm also trying to remind myself constantly that everyone starts somewhere.  Even the people who shoot straight off into the stratosphere.  Even Russell.

I have this thing where I like to read the beginnings of blogs.  I follow the "older posts" links all the way back to the beginning, when the people who run them posted once every three months about stupid things like a decent photo of their dog, or the interesting new TV show.  I have to remind myself that it's ok to do those things, to talk about whatever you've got to talk about, until you've got some focused, interesting things to talk about.

Like... I could spend the next year talking about how stupid hot Mark Harmon was way back at the beginning of NCIS, and you'd know what I've been spending all my time doing.  Eventually, I might convince you that I'm some sort of expert on the subject, but I doubt it.  I'm just a strange showgirl-photographer with a wicked jonesing for old men, and clinical depression.

The truth is, I start blogging again when my bank balance hits zero.  I write words into the ether in the hopes that someone might actually read them, and, even more unlikely, someone might want to help me save myself.

Friday, June 27, 2014

God dammit

Megan has a crush on a Burlesque god...

Monday, June 2, 2014

Writing Without A Net: The Ultimate Waste of Time-- Chapter 14

Refer to this post for an introduction.

(Minas Tirith, one month since the battle for the freedom of Middle Earth.  Aragorn’s Coronation. Gandalf is in the process of crowning Aragorn, Frederic and Dinah are off in a corner somewhere, making out.  A bottle of the finest vintage second-age wine is in Frederic’s hand.  (Check E-Thilien dot com for a store near you!)  Faramir and Eowyn are holding hands, together at last.  Eomer, however is standing about an arm’s length away, being held back (unknowingly) by the ghost of Boromir.)

Eomer: (Struggling madly) What is this?  Why can’t I move?

Faramir: (Grinning)  Must be those imaginary dragons… (Leans over and kisses Eowyn)

Eomer:  (Makes no sound, as Boromir is covering his mouth) ABSTINENCE!!!

Eowyn:  WHERE do you hear such LIES?   I’m wearing a chastity belt.

Eomer: (visibly relaxes)

(Obi-Wan is holding Peppy, his mouth duct-taped shut.  He is bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet, giving Qui-Gon puppy dog eyes.  Qui-Gon is grinning from ear to ear, a slightly evil, but satisfied expression on his face.  Théoden-king, meanwhile is nearby, sitting astride Shadowfax. He is in a daze, the Palantir in one hand, rocking back and forth, and licking it absentmindedly. Arwen is standing behind the standard (That’s a flag, for those of us with small vocabularies)  She is wearing a rather fetching green dress, and shooting dirty looks at Legolas.  (He did, after all, ruin that lovely pink ensemble of hers…)  Elrond is standing in front of the standard, a look of madness on his face, looking as though he is about to start frothing at the mouth.  Every few seconds he turns with lightning speed to the surrounding people, hissing “Don’t touch my daughter”  with a ferocious growl. His left eye is twitching.  SG-1 and King Arthur and his knights are in a far corner, away from the action, eyeing each other apprehensively.  High above, Teal’c is riding his Fell Beast, tossing flower petals into the air to rain down onto the guests.  Darth Vader is standing relatively near where Gandalf is crowning Aragorn.  Yoda is sitting on his shoulders, and both are eating peanuts.  Yoda has a balloon.  Darth Vader has a gigantic stuffed green flamingo tucked under his arm.  Lastly, Sam and Frodo are standing among the throng, weeping openly at the joy of the occasion.)

(Gandalf finishes the ceremony, and Aragorn, newly crowned, turns to face the crowds.  As he does so, Faramir (in place of Boromir) Legolas, and Gimli approach him and kneel.)

Faramir:  My lord Aragorn, let it be known that you will always have my sword…

Legolas:  And my bow…

Gimli: AND MY AXE… (Looks about for approval)

(Merry and Pippin nod and applaud.)

Steve: (Taking cue from Merry and Pippin, cheering enthusiastically)  COME ON EVERYONE!!! CHEER FOR YOUR KING! 

Pippin: (Before everyone else can begin cheering) HE’S NOT DEAD!

Everyone:  (Following suit) HE’S NOT DEAD!  HE’S NOT DEAD!  HE’S NOT DEAD!

Eomer:  (Completely on his own with this one) ABSTINENCE!  ABSTINENCE!  ABSTINENCE!

(Suddenly, Denethor walks in, Whiskers in one arm.  He is wearing Bermuda shorts, a Hawaiian print shirt, a wide brimmed straw hat, and rather large sunglasses.  He is carrying two rather heavy suitcases.  Complete silence descends on the crowd.) 

Denethor:  Gee, Aragorn, thanks for sending me on that vacation.  The Bahamas were great, it was really nice to get away from the responsibilities of the Stewardship.  I would have stayed longer, but, you know, I just couldn’t wait to get back to my city, and my citadel, and my throne, and my… (stops, eyeing spectacle, especially Faramir, kneeling before Aragorn)  MY ONLY SON!!!!  (Advances on Faramir, who is now cowering under his scorched rug.)  FARAMIR, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  Pledging your allegiance to this Ranger from the north, LONG BEREFT OF LORDSHIP…

Gandalf:  Maybe we should take this inside…

(Cut to:  the inner chambers of the citadel)

Legolas:  Aragorn!  Go sit on the throne!  Try it out! See what it’s like to be KING of Gondor!  (Practically jumping up and down with glee.)

Denethor: (Grumbling incomprehensibly)

Faramir: What’s the matter, Father, feeling left out?  Go sit on your throne… (grinning)

(Denethor stamps to throne and flops into it.)

Aragorn:  So… how’s the weather down there?

(No reply)

Aragorn: Uhh… how were the Bahamas?  Nice place?

Denethor: RRRRR (Growling like a mad pit bull)

Aragorn:  I… uhhh… made your son the Prince of Ithilien…

Denethor:  You made my son the prince of a WEBSITE?

Aragorn:  Ithilien, not E-Thilien.

Denethor:  Oh, well then… YOU GAVE MY SON A HIGHER RANK THAN ME??

Aragorn:  You still get to be Steward…

Theoden-King:  (Still in a daze)  MMM…


Theoden-King: (coming out of daze, and quickly stowing Palantir in cloak)  I did not!

Denethor: Oh, to Mordor with you.  I need a drink.  FREDERIC!!! Bring me a bloody Mary… with a tomato slice on the glass!  Oh, and make sure those are the good tomatoes.  The ones for the special occasions!  The ones that just make you want to… (Drifts into fond reminiscence)

Eowyn: (approaching Faramir with a tray) Here, Faramir.  I’ve baked you a batch of my special Ranger cookies for the occasion.

Aragorn:  (Leaning over to Faramir, whispering) Don’t eat them…

Faramir: (looks at tray containing grotesque looking blackened cookies)  Uhh… maybe later, Eowyn.

Aragorn: (Approaches Elrond, who is now foaming at the mouth and shaking, much like a raccoon with rabies) Uhh… sir, I would like to ask your permission to marry your daughter…

Elrond: (Straightening up and looking entirely sane and normal)  I give you my blessing then, Elessar. 


Aragorn:  What?  Are you drunk again?

Legolas:  The imaginary dragons made me do it!

Boromir’s Ghost:  Hehehehe….

(The party continues until late in the night.  People are socializing, and Obi-Wan is fluttering about like a butterfly on Speed, telling everyone the story of how he found his socks… again)

Obi-Wan: …And then I turned around and there were 12 angry weasels following me, and so I jumped into a ditch and there were spiders so I screamed “Eew! Spiders!”  and I crawled out again, and then I ducked under this really old tree, and ran around and around and around and around, and then I got so dizzy that I fell down, and I think I almost threw up, but I didn’t throw up, so I got up again, and started running but then I tripped over a rock and I skinned my knee, and when I looked down to see what was wrong, I found my socks again!  They were on my feet the whole time!

Qui-Gon: Obi-Wan… have you been snorting pixie stix again?

Obi-Wan: Nooo. (Looks up innocently)

Harry Potter:  (In his one, single shameless cameo)  ACCIO PIXIE STIX!  (Two seconds later, he is buried in a mound of pixie stix.  The only part of him visible is his wand hand, still clutching his wand.) Ugghhhh… 

Qui-Gon:  (Glaring at Obi-Wan, who is looking back at him with an innocent grin)

(The massive crowds disperse, leaving only our intrepid heroes.)

Denethor:  So… who’s hungry?

(Everyone raises their hands.)

Denethor: Off to Burger Steward then! 

Theoden-King and Aragorn:  It’s Burger KING.

Denethor:  Oh, fine.  But I get White Castle!

(As the group sets off for Burger King and White Castle, Col. O’Neill looks around, shrugging.)

O’Neill:  Well, at least we didn’t DIE.

(At that moment, a crazed chocolatier pops out of a bush.  It is WONKA.  He shoots them all with Nerds, then runs off, laughing maniacally.  There are no survivors.)

The end.

Just Kidding!

(They live happily ever after, and ride off into the sunset, toward White Castle and Burger King… I mean… Burger Steward… I mean…)

The end.

Damn Straight.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Writing Without A Net: The Ultimate Waste of Time-- Chapter 13

Refer to this post for an introduction. 

(Just inside Mordor.)

Samwise the Brave: (Consults HOOM maps)  Bear east-north-east toward Orodruin… Well, we did that.  So I guess the next step would be… Climb up cracks of Doom. 

Frodo:  (hisses) The eye… It’s on me, I can see it with my waking eyes.  And the ring is so heavy, Sam, how are we ever going to make it?

(Frodo hasn’t even finished his question when Teal’c swoops out of the sky, picks up Frodo, Sam and Gollum/Smeagol, and flies off to Mount Doom.  There, Frodo chucks ring, with just a wee bit of difficulty, into the volcano.  Anguished, Gollum/Smeagol falls to his death as well, after riding the invisible Frodo.  Can’t you just envision it?  Of course you can’t, Frodo is invisible!!! HA HA HA.)

(Fall back to Minas Tirith)

Carter:  (Staring bewildered at her CO.)  Uhh… sir, how did you do that?

O’Neill:  Do what?  (Cap is back on head.  White sneakers are now mysteriously gone.)

Carter:  …Nothing sir.  But do you mind taking off your hat?

O’Neill: My hat?  Carter, what’s gotten into you?

Carter:  Sir, please.

O’Neill: (exasperated sigh) Fine. (removes hat.  Hair is regulation length, not to mention SILVER.)

Carter:  …Thank you sir… (bewildered)

Denethor: Qui-Gon, the battle’s over, LOWER ME DOWN!

Qui-Gon:  (sigh)  fine… (Lowers Denethor from pinnacle of the city.  Perhaps a bit too quickly at the end, as Denethor slams into the ground with a nasty –whump-)

Denethor: (scurrying towards Faramir)  MY SON!!! (weeping openly and throwing himself on the body of his son)

Eowyn:  That’s my job!  (struggling as Eomer drags her away)

Denethor:  My son… if only you would open your eyes one more time!  I never told you this, but you were always my favorite son!  Even more than BOROMIR!!!

Boromir’s Ghost: Buh!  Buhbuh!!! (stammers incoherently)

Denethor:  I know you weaseled your way out of the sword lessons, and the baking lessons, and everything else, but I let you get away with it.  I wanted to keep you here, protect you.  I never wanted to see you hurt, and now you’re… DEAD!

Pippin:  (Running across Pelennor Fields)  HE’S NOT DEAD!! HE’S NOT—

(Stopped by Frederic, who has caught up, now both stand behind bereaved Denethor.)

Frederic: Shhh… (whispers)  Wait for it--

Denethor: I know I’ve been harsh on you, but it’s only because I LOVE YOU!!!

Faramir:  (groggily, opening eyes)  Wh—What?

Denethor:  Nothing. (stands up and brushes off robes.)

Frederic:  He said he loves you.

Denethor:  I did not!  Frederic, you’re FIRED!

Frederic:  No I’m not, you love me too.

(Frederic waltzes away, drunkenly.  Pippin finds himself in a happy reunion with Merry, and Eowyn breaks free of Eomer’s grip.  She throws herself at Faramir.)


(Enter Steve, he is wheeling a cart around Pelennor Fields)

            BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!
            BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!

Denethor: (Turns toward noise.  In the process, nearly trips over Aragorn, whom Legolas is still trying to drag away.) Is that… Aragorn, son of Arathorn, lying there, dead at my feet?  (Devious thoughts)

            BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!

Denethor: I’ve got one!  I’ve got one here! (Attempts to lift a now semiconscious Aragorn)

Aragorn: (Groggily) But… I’m not dead.

Denethor: Yes you are, you’ll be dead in a minute.

Aragorn:  No, really I’m fine.

Denethor: You’re not fooling anyone you know.

Aragorn: (Struggling feebly)  I think I’ll go for a walk…

Denethor:  Oh no you don’t.  You’ll be dead any time now.

Aragorn:  I FEEL HAPPEEEEEE!!!!!

(Gandalf runs out just in time to stop Denethor from giving Aragorn a nasty smack upside the head.)


Legolas: Damn Straight.

Gandalf: Denethor, what were you doing?

Denethor: Nothing…

(Frederic perks up, and begins trotting back over)


Frederic: (singsong) No I’m not…  But you are!  Aragorn’s the King now!

Denethor: WHY YOU— (Rushes Frederic)

Faramir: (while being smothered by Eowyn)  Father… Don’t fling yourself off any precipices… or whatever…

Gandalf: HOLD!  I don’t know how I know this, but… THE RING HAS BEEN DESTROYED.  Middle Earth is free once more.

Frederic: Break out the wine!

(End of part XIII)  (OOO, Unlucky thirteen!  What are you gonna do?  Cry to your mommy?  (Wanders under ladder and trips, breaking a mirror in the process.  Black cat streaks across crumpled form.)  Not a word.  Not one word…)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Writing Without A Net: The Ultimate Waste of Time-- Chapter 12

Refer to this post for an introduction

(The City)

People of the City:  Look! Look! The Rohirrim!  They have been mustered!  We are saved!

Pippin:  Mustard?  Is it time for Second Breakfast already?  (leaves field of battle to go eat.)

Denethor: (Looking out toward the Rohirrim)  Is that… My SON?  Faramir is leading the Rohirrim?  Theoden!  My son conquered your lands in your absence, and now he rides to his father’s aid! 

Theoden-King:  Oh, go suck on that Palantir some more…

Denethor:  (Looking more closely at the group)  What?  GANDALF??  Faramir is no son of mine!  Boromir!  Boromir was loyal to me, not some WIZARD’S PUPIL!!!!!

Theoden- King:  Look! And there’s Eomer!  But… Where’s Eowyn?  And… look!  Who’s that skinny kid riding with the hobbit?

Denethor: I dunno…  But FARAMIR HAS BETRAYED ME!  ABANDON YOUR POSTS!! (spraying spit everywhere, and running, flailing, around the courtyard of the Citadel.)

Theoden- King: (Wiping spit off his face) At least he’s coming to your aid…

Denethor:  (Not paying attention, still running about like a chicken with his head cut off.  Theoden-King sticks out leg, and Denethor trips, flying over the Citadel wall.)

(Qui-Gon catches Denethor and brings him back up with the Force.)

Qui-Gon:  Oops, lost my grip!  (lets Denethor fall a story or two, then begins bringing him back up)  Oops… (repeats process a few times)

(Pelennor Fields)

Faramir:  LOOK!  My father has gone flying off the Citadel wall!  Now I can be Steward… no KING of Gondor!! (Broadway hand thingie)

Eomer:  Don’t you think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself?

Faramir:  Look!  He’s falling!.. No, wait, somebody’s caught him.  NO! HE’S FALLING AGAIN!  No, wait… (continues for some time.)

(Aragorn and Legolas have battled their way out onto Pelennor fields.  They pass Yoda and Darth Vader.)

Yoda:  (poking dying Orc with walking stick)  Hurt that must, YEESSS… 

Legolas: (counting as he kills Orcs)  Eleventy-two!  Eleventy- three!

Aragorn:  Legolas, there is no such number as eleventy-two.

Legolas: Yes there is!

Aragorn:  If there is, then I’m the Lady of Light.

Legolas: My lady!  I did not think to be looking upon your beauty again so soon!

Aragorn: …

(Eomer prepares the Rohirrim for a charge.)

Obi-Wan:  YAY! I get to use my lightsaber!!

Eomer:  (lunging forward)  ABSTINENCE!!!

Rohirrim:  ABSTINENCE!!!

Faramir:  CHASTITY BELT!!!  (fighting back laughter)

Eomer:  (Stops short)  …You have problems.  That’s just sick.
Faramir:  But… But… I thought… Nevermind.

(They charge)

(Back up in the Citadel)

Qui-Gon:  And… Joy of all joys, my young Padawan has returned to me.

Obi-Wan: (trots up to Qui-Gon, twirling beanie propeller and waving lightsaber about recklessly.  Peppy is trailing behind.) (speaking as quickly and as high pitched as humanly possible) Qui-Gon!  Guess what?  I lost my socks again!  I tied them to my ankle for safekeeping, but it was a really long string, and it was dragging behind, and I forgot, so I was like ‘what is this string?’  So I pulled it… and there were my socks!  And then we went through the woods on a shortcut, and we went left at the tree instead of right, and we saw Darian and some dancing weasels, and then we realized that we should have gone right at the tree, so we went back, and saw Obi-Wonka, and then I lost my socks again, but I got them back again, and we went right at the tree, and then we saw a circus so we went, and there was master Yoda and Darth Vader, and they gave me this cool hat, and they were eating cotton candy, and then we went to Edoras, and we found Gandalf, and Peppy, and Whiskers, and Shadowfax, and Gimli’s axe, and we mustered the Rohirrim, and we came back here as fast as we could, and then I saw you, so I ran up to the citadel, and I came up and I told you this story and I told you how I found my socks! 

Qui-Gon:  Is it possible that you have gotten worse since I last saw you?  (Whispers to nearby Orc)  Kill him.  Please.  I will pay you to kill him.

(cut to: Pantry)

(Dinah and Frederic still fighting off Orcs with Dinah’s shoe.  Suddenly…)

Gandalf:  STAY THIS MADNESS! (Orcs scamper off.) 

(Gandalf cleaves wine bottle in two with sword.)


(Cut back to: Pelennor Fields)

(a mysterious figure is quickly making a name for himself in battle.  He has felled many Orcs, with the hobbit Merry in tow.)

(The Witch King swoops out of the sky and confronts our young, mysterious hero.)

Witch King:  Die now, and spare yourself the agony of my wrath…

Hero: WHERE do you hear such LIES?

Witch King:  FOOL!  No man can kill me.

Faramir: EOWYN, NOOOOOOOO!!! (runs toward pair)

Witch King:  Don’t you know, my sword will tear through your armor like tissue paper! (Witch King tosses Faramir aside. He lies motionless.)

(Cut to Citadel)

Denethor:  MY SON!!!!!!  (runs to edge of cliff)  Qui-Gon, lower me down!!

Qui-Gon: No way buddy.  You have to stay up here and help us fight.  Besides, first you want up, then you want down, make up your mind!

Theoden-King:  Don’t worry about your baby boy, Denethor, Eowyn’s down there.  She’ll look after him. 

Denethor:  It’s because of Eowyn that he’s down there in the first place!  This is all your fault, as usual, Theoden!

(Back to Pelennor Fields)

Hero:  Damn straight.  (Rips off helmet to reveal that it is indeed Eowyn, shieldmaiden of Rohan.  She stabs the witch King.)  I am NO MAN!

Eomer: (From elsewhere on Pelennor Fields)  Eowyn?  Eowyn..?  ABSTINENCE!!!!!

Witch King:  KKkkk… (Horrid, creepy dying noises, and this bizarre sucking sound, as his wraith-ness is destroyed.) (Grating female voice emits from shrinking cloak)  Who would have thought a good little girl like you could have destroyed my beautiful wickedness?  Oh what a world, what a world.  I’m melting… MELTING!!!  (A hiss, then, silence)

(Horns in the distance.  Those painted dudes from the south, the ones riding the Oliphaunts, well, they just happened to pick now to show up.)

Obi-Wan: LOOK! Qui-Gon, the circus has come to town!

Qui-Gon: (shakes head)

Monty Python:  RUN AWAAAAYYYY!!!!  (Runs away, coconuts clacking furiously)

(As the Oliphaunts and their menacing riders advance, narrowly missing trampling the Pythons, a ghostly blowing of the horn of Gondor is heard.  It seems our friend Boromir has managed to muster the armies of the dead.)

Aragorn:  But… only the one true King of Gondor can muster the Armies of the Dead…

King of the Dead: (Knocks Aragorn unconscious.)

Legolas: ARAGORN!!!!!

Obi-Wan: (from in the city) KING OF GONDOR!!!

Denethor: Stop that, STOP THAT!!!

(Army of the Dead rampages through Minas Tirith, drawing the Orc armies back to Pelennor Fields, but not even the might of the dead can conquer Gondor’s enemies.)

(The Oliphaunts are drawing ever closer to our stranded friends on Pelennor Fields.  Eowyn and Merry are attempting to drag Faramir to safety, but are hindered by Eomer who is trying to drag Eowyn to safety.  Legolas has grabbed Aragorn by the boot, and is desperately trying to drag him away, but is sadly too intoxicated to get very far.  Gandalf, meanwhile is in the city, attempting to wrangle all the animals of Minas Tirith and lead them to safety.  The Oliphaunts are beginning to take chunks out of the city walls now, and the Nazgul on their fell beasts are swooping in.  All hope seems lost for our intrepid friends.)

(A fell beast swoops particularly close to the Citadel.  Upon it rides… TEAL’C!)


(All in the citadel look up in amazement.  Teal’c flies valiantly into battle, leading the remaining Nazgul away from the fields, and off into the horizon.)

(Without a word, Col. O’Neill sweeps off his baseball cap.  This reveals a luxuriant golden, shoulder length mane.  He reaches into his pocket, and extracts a paperclip, holding it triumphantly above his head.  He has become MacGyver, and all before him gape with wonder.)

(Gondor’s adversaries stop in their tracks.  A moment of silence passes over the entire realm of Gondor, then suddenly)

Gondor’s Adversaries:  RUN AWAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!  (Thundering footsteps of thousands of Orcs, men, Oliphaunts, and trolls, retreating to wherever they came from.)

(End of part XII.)  (MacGyver, who knew?  (Does the happy MacGyver dance))