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Cynically Steven [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Dragon*Con musing [Dec. 30th, 2008|03:21 pm]

A friend wants to do "Night at the Museum" for DC 2009. I'm not thrilled with this idea (sorry) because I think it'll be a difficult theme to pull off.  A bunch of people dressed in costumes from different periods... How is that different from a dozen random Dragon*Con attendees? Anyway, I'll work up something and go along because that's what friends do. :) Maybe props will help? Hmm...

I was talking with someone else about an unrelated costume idea I was hatching. She says "so you're not going to do 'Night at the Museum,' are you?"

I look at her, my face revealing that I am stunned and baffled by this assumption. I think about it for a moment...

"Oh!" I say, "there will be more than one costume!"

I think I wore 5 costumes at the last one. Seriously. Calvin and Hobbes, Pirate Steve (Dodgeball), Beckett (PotC), poison apple cyclist (Enchanted), and my clan kilt. I feel bad counting "kilt" as costume, but I think there may have been something else briefly, too. Regardless, it works out to a lot of outfit changes.
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Second Silver Project [Nov. 9th, 2008|05:52 pm]
[mood |accomplished]

Pendant FrontPendant BackThe second silver project I did at Amalgam Arts Atlanta was a bezel set pendant. I did not get all the pieces in time to attempt the spider pendant and I figured it wouldn't hurt to start with something fairly simple.

This is a piece of labradorite about half an inch wide. Most of what I have seen in silver work is actually fairly simple, conceptually. This pendant was made from three pieces of silver: a flat silver sheet for the back, a length of bezel wire that surrounds the stone, and a twist of wire for the bail. As a concept, it is simple. You cut a ribbon of bezel wire the right size for the stone and solder it to form a loop. Then you solder the loop to a flat sheet and cut it out. Lastly, you solder on a bail, polish it up, and set the stone. It really is just that simple. It is also that difficult...

The silvery details...Collapse )


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Silver Fabrication [Oct. 15th, 2008|11:53 pm]
[mood |accomplished]

Wire Steven

I started taking a silver fabrication class at Amalgam Arts Atlanta this September. The first day was spent getting to know studio, where to find certain tools, what you were allowed to use, and what you shouldn't touch. Naturally, the torches were on all the wrong lists - at least for the first day. Our first "project" was to take a length of wire and fashion it into our names. Mine was relatively easy, except for the "t" and that just forced me to add a little flare. It is red brass, not silver, but this was just to get used to bending and shaping the wire.

Egyptian coil braceletThe second or first "real" project was to create an Egyptian coil bracelet. This project took several weeks (one class of 2-3 hours per week) to finish. We started with sterling silver wire, cut it into lengths, filed them, twisted them, soldered them, pickled them, hammered them, annealed them, and wove them into a bracelet.  The bracelet was adjusted for consistency, burnished, antiqued, tumbled, and polished. Some of the work was redundant, much of it simply experimental, and all of it educational and fun. We were given enough silver to make about 18-19 links and the clasp, which was barely enough to fit my Mom's very small wrist, but it fit her perfectly! Of course she loves it, she has to, but she claims to have gotten a few compliments that just swell me up with pride.

Our next project is supposed to involve bezel setting a stone and we've been given the freedom (and responsibility) for finding our own stones and inspiration. Taking a jewelry making course as someone who does not wear jewelry can make that a little tricky, but fortunately I happen to know a couple women. One apparently dreamed that the spider pendant I gave her came to life. This is interesting because I never gave her a spider pendant and because it is a fantastic idea! As soon as she said it, I had visions of a tiger's eye abdomen, an onyx thorax, and silver legs. I might alter that to use a stone that goes better with silver or use a brass setting, but it IS a silver class. Tiger's eye would make for a wonderful wolf spider, but silver would work well with star sapphire. You can bet I'll be researching stones this coming week for ideas. I'd like to make at least one, if not several, in time for Halloween!

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"Enchanted" Movie Moral [Jul. 9th, 2008|02:18 pm]

The following is quoted from an email I wrote to a friend:

>>I just finished watching "Enchanted." It was a fairy tale! They all lived happily ever after, enjoying the financial successes of their publishing and fashion ventures. That WAS the moral, right?

>And here I thought the moral was love conquers all and there's a right person for everyone...

Did we watch the same movie? This is my (tongue-in-cheek) analysis of the characters and their relationships...

First of all, there is the star: Giselle. She falls in love with her prince and sets off to marry him the next day. Less than a week later, due to some trickery induced circumstances, she is receiving "true love's kiss" from some other guy right in front of the prince, who is still technically her fiance!

Now then, there's the man who kissed her: Robert. He spends five years with this woman, Nancy, leading her on and never getting serious enough about her to let her stay the night "because of the child." Five years! I think that's long enough. Of course, Morgan's Mom isn't in the picture, is never named, and is only talked about briefly as having "left." Typical of this movie's dysfunction, Robert flatly refuses to discuss Morgan's mother with Morgan!

Luckily, as soon as Nancy and Prince Edward are dumped by their prior loves, they marry each other instead. This is the same pattern of failure established by Edward's father, King - er... Um, wait... Queen Narissa never mentioned a husband, a partner, or even a sperm donor, but she's obviously been wounded by love and left bitter and resentful. One clue comes from the queen's great worry that her daughter-in-law-to-be, not her son, is the one who will be after her crown. Projecting from her ambitious past? We don't know anything about Prince Edward's family life or where he learned his troll-abusing tendencies.

Frankly, we don't know anything about Giselle's family either. One might guess she lived alone in the eco-friendly treehouse, but we do know that she passed idle hours building "dream dates" out of household knick-knacks. The one thing her heartless, brainless, silent, soulless mannequin needed to be perfect? Lips! Love and kissing are equivalent.

True love did have ONE victory in the film: the divorcing couple. After a comment about her eyes, the couple decided to stay together after all. Aw, surely THAT will last. Even if it doesn't, that fractured, strained relationship is the closest to devoted "ever after" love that anyone in the movie gets.

Neither Nathaniel nor Pip find even this movie's shallow approximations of love, but they do find happiness in their book deals. The queen was killed, still bitter and alone in the world.

The movie is literally chock-full of emotionally dysfunctional individuals with unreasonable and unrealistic expectations about love which they shoehorn into the first convenient lover/victim who is willing to spend a few moments with them. Pretty much your typical Disney movie, though. (Disney movies are famous for dead, missing, or killed-in-the-movie mothers.)
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Leaving Law School [Nov. 30th, 2006|10:16 am]
[Current Location |Legal Research and Writing class]

It comes to this: I miss being an engineer more than I want to be an attorney.

My former boss has said that if I come back to Atlanta he would definitely rehire me.

I was concerned that withdrawing might leave a black mark on my record should I ever want to go to school for some other degree, or if I lost my mind and reapplied to law school. An adviser I spoke with said that dropping before finals would essentially make my record "go poof" (he even pinched his fingertips together and fanned them out for dramatic effect). As long as I file a withdrawal form before the exams start there will be no grades to report. I don't have to stress through exams in a vain effort to guard my future options.

What am I going to do? I'm going to float my resume around DC for a few weeks and see if there is anything that turns up here that grabs me. However, my previous job gave me a lot of personal satisfaction doing some small part battling cancer. My prediction is that I'll move back to Atlanta into a house my cousin is having trouble selling while I look for a place inside the perimeter.

I already have tickets for Dragon*Con 2007.
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Marriage Protection Amendment [Jun. 7th, 2006|02:58 pm]
[mood |cynicalcynical]

My marriage failed because of:
A) Infidelity
B) Finances
C) Substance or Spousal Abuse
D) Expectation or Priority Differences
E) Gay Couple in Neighborhood

Instead of aiming to prohibit certain marriages, shouldn't a "Marriage Protection Amendment" ban divorce? I would not have gotten married if divorce was not an option.

Seriously, what is wrong with people?

I'd like to make clear that this list is simply a rough compilation of some of the most often cited reasons for divorce. It was intended as a generic question for any divorce and not a quiz about mine. The point is that the Senate issue titled "Marriage Protection Amendment" fails to address things that actually threaten marriages.

For the curious, D has the most relevance in my divorce. That is all.
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D-Day, an answer to the Day That Will Live in Infamy [Mar. 17th, 2006|02:01 am]
[mood |chipperchipper]

My wedding was December 7, 2003 - Pearl Harbor Day. D-Day was actually June 6, but for my purposes it is March 16, 2006 - the day I was able to file for Divorce in Florida. Anybody think I should have waited the extra two months for symmetry? I heard that most of the divorces are handled on Tuesday or Wednesday. June 6 is a Tuesday. Could I be so lucky?

My friends will be glad to know that I Filed The Papers! As of this writing, it is "incomplete" but I suspect that is primarily because the case has just been created and no one has entered the data from the forms.
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Law School Update: George Washington a Yes! [Mar. 17th, 2006|01:41 am]
[mood |accomplished]

The big news about my law school pursuits is an acceptance to George Washington Law! They are ranked 20 overall and #3 in IP law, so it is a huge win in my book. I'm near the border of their accepted range according to

I also got in to Emory, which would let me stay in Atlanta, but DC is such an exciting option! Also, George Washington has been earning points by sending me tons of useful things like the Zagat guide for DC and a survey of where student like to live and even a rail map. On the other end of the scale, one law school, which I won't name because I forget, sent an acceptance letter addressed to "Dear Admitted Law Student." It continued in this personal tone to point out that my acceptance was contingent on the successful completion of my undergraduate degree.

I'm starting a new paragraph to let that sink in. I completed my undergraduate degree in 1994, well over a decade ago. It was literally in the last century, and even the prior millenia. I accept and even expect rejection letters to be a simple form, but I had hoped that an admitted student would get slightly more attention.
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Going to Law School [Dec. 11th, 2005|12:00 pm]
[mood |accomplished]
[music |The Beatles]

I sent out four applications for law school a few months ago. I didn't expect to hear anything until January at the earliest, but I've already got two acceptances! UF and UGA have offered me positions in their 2006 class.

I'm waiting to hear from Emory and Duke. I'm also going to see jcfarris tonight to consider other schools that I could still apply to. George Mason has been suggested as being culturally and politically more in line with my own current beliefs.

Law school has moved from being a "potential" to a "reality." Before the acceptances, I had to consider the possibility of universal rejection and what I would do with my life instead. Now I have to make that decision with my eyes wide open about what paths exist. UF and UGA are both top tier law schools, but neither is as well regarded as Duke or Emory. What to do, what to do...

I just wanted to share an upbeat note with my friends here. Thanks for reading :)
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Another realization [Oct. 7th, 2005|01:10 pm]
I was browsing through (yes, I decided to go back to that myself) when I found a person looking for someone "self-motivated." I thought about all the things I did that were just about Whitney's interests and I though how far I was from self-motivated while I was with her, and how I feel now with a new job, law school on the horizon, and a different future to discover.

Then I realized that I WAS self-motivated while I was with her. The problem was that in a lot of ways I treated her like a project. I saw her as young and just getting started in her life and career, and I was going to help her get it started. Working on the website, shooting video and pictures, encouraging her to start her own business - none of it was because she demanded it. I did it because I was working towards MY goal of advancing HER, whether she liked it or not. I'm thinking "not."

My memory is flooding me with instances of her saying "I never asked for that." It was all about what I wanted to give her, not what she wanted. I'm a very selfish giver, and if that doesn't make sense then you don't know me very well.

(Note to self: work on that.)
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