Part-Time Celebrity

You really want to know what I’ve been doing since the last entry? No, no you don’t. It really is best left to your imagination. That way, I would have been involved in foiling Space Nazi plots in their secret moonbase or working far into the night decoding the fabulous Book of the Vishanti. Alas, what I’ve been doing is far more prosaic.

I’ve been picking colors.

That’s over-simplifying. While still reeling from the dual onslaught of New Air Conditioner and Summer Dentistry, my Home Owner’s Association (speaking of Nazis…) sensed my weakness and swooped in for the kill, demanding that my house be re-sided and re-painted. “But….” said we, “New air conditioner! No money!” “Lien upon your home,” was their reply, and lo, the debt was deepened. Looks like I won’t be giving up dentistry to return to the riskier world of full-time writing anytime soon.

I now sit in a house of two tones, old siding and new siding, while we wait for the Nazis to approve of our color choices, which consist of gray (house), lighter gray (trim) and red (door). These are, I admit, radical choices, which may explain the delay.

Really, one day someone will explain to me why it was a good idea to buy a house. And oh, yeah, my car’s air conditioner died back in June. Sorry old paint, there is no money to repair you, yet. It does make driving back and forth to a job I hate especially…. character-building, I suppose.

Alright, that isn’t all I’ve been doing. For one thing, NC Soft, the publishers of the game that maintains my excapist sanity, City of Heroes (speaking of character-building), asked for volunteers to speak to a reporter, who was writing a story about cross-gender gaming. To put it in simple terms, people who play the opposite gender in role playing games.

Now, amongst my 35 characters, I have 13 males. 15 females, 4 robots and 3 cosmic abominations, and I’m halfway articulate, so I volunteered – the goal being to offer a viewpoint beyond the cliched “Chicks get more free stuff” or “If I’m going to stare at a butt for hours, it might as well be a nice butt.” Very little of that got into the final story, but at least now I can say that an AP photographer has been in my house. Yes, it was an Associated Press article, which meant it appeared on,, Wired News, my local paper, and newspapers across the land. Detroit and Seattle are the only two rags I could track down that used the photo.

Major outcome of this? I discovered the neologism “Cybertrannie”, had it applied to myself, and received a little razzing in-game. So why do I do it, you may ask? The same reason I tend to have an equal number of male and female characters in my stories – I like the balance. Admittedly, that does not make for provocative copy, so I suppose I failed that goal.

That week in August was sort of a banner time for me, as I also turned up at the top of a story in the Baltimore Sun. Though supposedly about Snakes on a Plane, it was felt necessary to tap my expertise on bad movies in general.

Given my generally self-destructive bent, I will point out that in the Snakes article, I tap Glen or Glenda as my favorite Ed Wood movie, and it took mere seconds for my so-called friends to light on the fact that it is a movie about… transvestites.

Speaking of escapism, it’s time to indulge in some. Why doesn’t City of Heroes have an angora option?