Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2125th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3573, February 2, 2006.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:firstname.lastname@example.org
|L.A.con IV in 2006!||Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Salamander Press #2608|
Last Tuesday (January 24th), I got an invitation to a free publicity presentation on Saturday the 28th on the making of the special effects in Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, at the studio of Rhythm & Hues, one of the movie's special-effects subcontractors. Since their screening room is at Prism Tower, A-Wing, 3rd Floor, Mindspace, Goregaon-Malad Link Road, Goregaon (West), Mumbai, India, and free transportation to India & back was not included, I decided to pass it up. (Besides, I was already going to the much-closer Anime Los Angeles that day.) If I recall correctly, the lengthy closing credits of TLtWatW showed that its live-action filming was mostly in New Zealand (some in Poland, England, and Guatemala) and its special effects were farmed out to FX studios from Vancouver, Canada to Riga, Latvia. I do not know how much was done in Mumbai, but I doubt that it was enough to be worth a trip there to find out.
On Wednesday evening, Michael Burlake visited me at the hospital to bring me books that he had been given for me at Further Confusion 2006 the previous weekend. Three publishers had given me five new books to review for Anthro. In addition, the Con Committee gave me a copy of the Program Book and cloisonné pin (the design is supposed to be a fox's head in the Celtic art style, but it reminds me more of Louis Wain's ultra-abstract cat paintings after he became insane), and lots of fans (Burlake had a long list of names) sent their best wishes. I would rather have attended to get all this in person, but this was the next-best thing.
On Thursday evening, Michael Burlake took me to the LASFS meeting. We got the handicapped parking space again. The highlight of the meeting was President Ed Green and Secretary Karl Lembke wearing luchadore masks for most of the evening, by audience bid (my congratulations to Green for knowing just how long to keep the gag going for maximum humor, and ruthlessly cutting it off when some fans tried to keep it going past the point where it would have become tiresome); although the four cakes (two chocolate, lemon and pineapple) plus brownies that the Moffatts brought to celebrate Rick Sneary's Patron Saint week came a close second. In addition to returning several LAPL library books to Kay Shapero and getting some new ones from her, and ditto with some murder mysteries from the Moffatts, I brought my electric razor for Shapero to relay to Lee & Barry Gold in exchange for a new one while they replace a worn-out part on the old razor; also Len Moffatt gave me a new cushion for my wheelchair that he felt would be an improvement over the cushion that came with the chair. I am trying it out now.
On Friday, Rob Powell picked me up at the hospital at 10:30 a.m. for the first day of Anime Los Angeles 2. We got to the Airtel Hotel about an hour later. It was very relaxed compared to most anime conventions that I have attended. After a leisurely check-in, picking up six ribbons for my badge (Past Guest of Honor, My First Time (which must have seemed like a contradiction to anyone who did not know that I was last year's Fan GoH but could not attend because of pneumonia), Program Participant, Animé Otaku, WSFS Member, and LASFS Member), and looking at Penny, Arlene Satin's small young Myers parrot, we attended Tadao Tomomatsu's noon panel on "Your Favorite Animé Character: Why Do You Like Them?" (I named Kimba the White Lion and Spike Speigel of Cowboy Bebop; I have had too many favorites over the years to remember them all). My only panel of the day was "History of Cosplay" with co-Fan GoH Karisu at 1:00 p.m. Both of us came from s-f fandom before there was a separate anime fandom, and we ended up criticizing anime fandom for being so insular that most anime fans refuse to recognize their origins and insist that anime fandom invented wearing hall costumes & masquerades &/or that it does not count as a costume if it is an original design instead of an impersonation of a character from an anime or manga. Powell & I cruised about (mostly in the Dealers' Room where we chatted with Artist GoH Phuong-Mai Bui-Quang (whose self-published comic book Tea Club I recommended here a few years ago; see her website for her art at http://www.tea-club.net/)) for the next half-hour, then went to the fencing demonstration of Japanese swordplay with Tadao Tomomatsu, Ed Hooper & Glenn Glazer. At 3:00 we went to Pro GoH Hiroaki Inoue's Interview, where he told how he became an anime professional and promoted the 2007 Worldcon. Someone in the audience demonstrated the insularity of anime fandom by asking if this would be the first Worldcon ever, which set up Tadao & others to give a hard-sell commercial for this year's Worldcon in Anaheim. The abovementioned anime fan also demonstrated what a hard-core fan he was of Inoue's El Hazard anime by asking goshwow really-ingroup questions about the series. After the Interview, Inoue came up to me to offer his hopes that I would be well enough to attend Nippon 2007. He seemed pessimistic about the Shibanos' health lasting that long. Powell & I started out 4:00 p.m. at the "Pirates in Animé' round-robin discussion, but since that broke down after about 15 minutes we decided to look for an early dinner (since neither of us had had lunch). After some discussion we agreed that there was nothing on the evening program that interested either of us, so we left the con for dinner at Denny's and an early return to the hospital for me at 6:30 p.m.
Powell was afraid that he might have to work on Saturday, so Michael Burlake brought me back to Anime Los Angeles. (As it turned out, Powell did not have to, and he was at Anime L.A. by himself.) The con looked about twice as crowded as it had been the day before. Burlake & I just cruised around the con for our first half-hour there (we had trouble squeezing through the packed halls), then went to the Con Suite where I made a light lunch of cheese cubes, mixed nuts & olives. On our way to my first panel we stopped to watch Penny the parrot have fun clambering over fans' shoulders and nibbling gently on their ears. I had two panels back-to-back; "What Do American Animation Professionals Think About Animé" at 1:00 p.m. with Kevin McKeever & Brett Achorn, and "Fantasy in Animé & Manga" at 2:00 p.m. with Todd Allis & Ed Hooper. Both had audiences of about a dozen, and we got good discussions going. McKeever, who works at Harmony Gold, gave me an original animation cel from its Robotech II: The Sentinels mid-1980s production as a thank-you for helping to promote Robotech during that decade. (Somebody said this was nothing special, since he had brought a slew of similar cels for the con to use as contest prizes, thank-yous for gophers, etc.) At 3:00 we went to the "Professional Art Careers in Comics & Manga" presentation with PMBQ & Jeannie Lee (who looked like sisters, though I gather that PMBQ is Viet & Lee is Chinese). Both have worked in commercial art, PMBQ has self-published her own comics and Lee has worked for Marvel Comics, so they offered advice to hopeful comic-book creators & animators among the fans. There was nothing on the program that interested us after that, so I took Chaz Baden up on his offer to treat me to dinner (a delayed perk of my last year's Guest-of-Honorship) at the hotel's restaurant, Landings. Chaz tacftully extended the invitation to Burlake as well. Landings was a fine gourmet restaurant and we ate well (I had salmon), but (I hope this complaint is not ungracious since we were treated) it was the only place in the hotel besides the Con Suite to eat. A fannish convention, particularly a con that is primarily for adolescent fans without lots of money, should be at a hotel with a cheap coffee shop in addition to/rather than only an expensive restaurant. After dinner, we fought our way through the lines that were already forming for the Masquerade an hour later, and left for the evening. I got back to the hospital once more about 6:30.
On Sunday, it was Rob Powell's turn again to transport me for the final day of Anime Los Angeles 2. I had three panels in a row: "Science Fiction in Animé and Manga" at noon with GoH Hiroaki Inoue (& his translator, Takayuki Karahashi), Todd Allis, & Ed Hooper; "Howl's Moving Castle" at 1:00 p.m. with Ed Hooper & Nick Smith (Brett Achorn was supposed to be a panelist, but he got the time wrong and did not arrive until we were adjourning); and "History of Animé" at 2:00 p.m. with Inoue again. It was an honor to be on panels with Inoue since he has been the producer of some of the best hard-core s-f in anime since the 1980s like The Wings of Honneamise; also a lot of good fantasy like Catnapped. He brought several Japanese s-f paperbacks that had been animated as visual aids for the first panel, including Japanese editions of American s-f. After the panel he gave them away; I got a Japanese collection of the third and fourth Captain Future novels by Edmond Hamilton. Nick Smith brought both Jones' novel and its "sequel", The Castle in the Air, as visual aids for the discussion of Howl's Moving Castle. I argued again that the second book is not really a sequel just because it is set in the same world. This became a discussion of Miyazaki's work in general as much as of his latest movie, although we also urged the audience to not only read the novel but all of Jones' work. The "History of Animé" panel was almost an Alphonse & Gaston routine, with Inoue & me each deferring to the other as to which was the greater expert on anime. At 3:00 p.m. Powell & I went to the Con Suite just before it closed to get enough nibblements to carry us until dinner. At the "Closing Ceremonies & Wrapup" at 4:00 p.m., we were seated behind Arlene Satin & Penny in her cage; it was more interesting to watch the parrot. Chaz Baden announced that attendance had been 1,319, up from 600+ the first year; they would have to move to a larger hotel for next year's con. Wild applause. (I could not help contrasting this 1,319 attendance with Loscon 32's 1,180+. The Loscon's attendance has been static at 1,200, give or take a hundred, since the 1980s, while Anime Los Angeles has more than doubled its attendance in only one year. If it experiences comparable growth next year, Anime L.A. 3's attendance could top 2,000. Why can't the Loscon grow to at least 1,500?) It was requested that next year's theme be "Pirates vs. Ninja". There were complaints about the Masquerade hall and other rooms not being big enough (and the Gaming Room being ultra-stinky because of all the gamers who never bathed), but that will be corrected by a move to another hotel with larger convention facilities. After the con ended at 5:00 p.m., Powell & I stopped for dinner at Denny's again (the one near the LASFS), and I got back to the hospital about 7:30.
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
S.F.F.A.M. #487 - (Merrigan) Since I have not seen that 19th-century(?) list of footnotes since my grandmother showed it to me during my childhood, and I have never been able to find it again, I cannot prove whether § was on it or not. But I am virtually certain that it was, since I remember that it went far beyond the *, †, and ‡ that seem to be the only three "European footnotes" that I can find listed anywhere today. ## You are right. More importantly, the 'j' is pronounced 'ya' in Eastern European/Slavic languages, so "Rossija" should be pronounced "Rossiya". See any Russian postage stamp since 1992, where the country's name is spelled in both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets.
Variations on a Title Theme By John Hertz - (Cantor) I intend to ask him (Kees van Toorn) to rejoin Apa L when (if) he does e.mail me. ## The Eaton Collection of the UCRiverside Library consists primarily of s-f, fantasy & horror, if I understand correctly, and only secondarily of fannish materials. To quote its website: "The Eaton Collection is the world's largest collection of materials in the field accessible to the public. It contains over 80,000 volumes, and many thousands of titles of science fiction and fantasy magazines, thousands of comic books, graphic novels, approximately 200,000 fanzines (amateur publications by science fiction fans), as well as the literary papers of some of the worlds great science fiction writers." I assume that the over 80,000 volumes are regular books since the fanzines are mentioned separately. ## It looks like I will have to follow up with the wheelchair company. I hope that I can, since I have a hard time talking on the telephone since my stroke.
Vanamonde #663 - (Hertz) I prefer William G. McAdoo's assessment of Warren G. Harding's speeches: that they "leave the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea; sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a straggling thought and bear it triumphantly, a prisoner in their midst, until it died of servitude and overwork." ## See http://bizacoras.blogspot.com/ for an extensive website (in Spanish, which cites Forry Ackerman, among others) that argues for expanding National Gorilla Suit Day into International Gorilla Suit Week. Mark Evanier concurs: "This is an important step towards world peace. If we can all gorilla-suit together, we can learn to get along. There is no known case in history of people going to war while dressed in gorilla suits."
De Jueves #1463 - (Moffatt) I could send a testimonial for Rancho Los Amigos, but apparently what is realluy needed to save the hospital are citations of medical services that Rancho offers that are unavailable anywhere else. I am not knowledgeable about what services are available at other hospitals in Los Angeles County to know whether or not Rancho offers any unique services. ## Vanessa Van Wagner is in charge of selecting the comic strips to pad ˇRR! out when my comments run short of filling up the pages. I do not know why she did not include that FreeFall strip since there was room for four strips on the page. Everyone seems to have given up expecting Mark Stanley putting together a collection of his FreeFall strip. Too bad. ## I tried looking on the Internet to find out if Blue Chip Trading Stamps are still redeemable. Apparently not. There are a lot of websites that mention Blue Chip stamps, but only in the past tense. ## According to Internet obituaries, radio & movie actor Charles Woolf died on June 18, 1994.
I Count Singularly - (Gold) I am now totally confused as to what my medical coverage is between Medi-Cal and Medicare and supplemental insurances that I do not have. I am glad tha you understand it. ## Marty Cantor has declined to speak any more with the wheelchair company on my behalf since it is my responsibility. As I said to him above, I have trouble speaking on the telephone so I do not know how effectively I can phone them if the conversation goes on too long. The wheelchair was supposed to have come with an attachment that will enable me to lock and unlock the right brake with my left hand, since I cannot reach that brake with my paralyzed right hand. If that part is something besides a brake extender, then the company should give us the proper name instead of just telling us that a brake extender will not help me. ## Presumably Commodore Vanderbilt's famous "the public be damned!" line is related to privately-owned mass transit, since he followed it with, "If the public needs my railroads, why doesn't the public use my railroads?" Vanderbilt's comments were in reply to criticism for his closing one of his railroads "that the public needs" that was losing money because not enough people were using it any longer.
Godzillla Verses #72 - (DeChancie) My usual method of writing is to start out by saying everything that I'd like to say on the subject, then figuring out how to condense it into the assigned word length, hopefully by just cutting out unnecessary words without sacrificing any of the concepts. ## Culver City (the area around the MGM studio) was bean fields and scrubland in unincorporated Los Angeles County between the (then much smaller) cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica when real-estate developer Harry Culver "took charge" of it in the 1920s. It was pretty much turned into the fully-built Culver City by the early 1940s, at least around its civic center which is right across Culver Boulevard (modest Culver was not) from the MGM lot. ## You have sleep apnea? I do not know whether I do or not. I am certainly notorious enough for falling asleep in the midst of noisy fannish parties. ## I had heard about Forry Ackerman's past legal problems, but the news in fandom never mentioned that he needed financial help to pay legal bills. Was I missing something, or was this not included in the fannish news?
MS Found in A(nother) Klein Bottle # - (Shapero) The Hubbard organization seems to be heavily involved with the S-F Museum in Seattle now, whether it was at the beginning or not. I agree that the S-F Museum is an excellent venue for s-f events such as the presentations of the Hubbard Writers/Artists of the Future Awards. I am just uneasy about the implication in Galaxy Press' promotional coverage of the presentations that the S-F Museum was founded by or is a part of Ron Hubbard's legacy and vision for the future of science fiction. ## Which "old library building" in our old neighborhood? Do you mean the Angeles Mesa branch of the L.A. Public Library on 52nd Street? That is the closest that I remember and the library that I "grew up in", across the street from my elementary school, although it was far enough from my house on Chesley Avenue (about 15 blocks away) that I never considered it as part of my childhood neighborhood. That was the area that I was allowed to walk into without adult supervision, which mostly encompassed the seven- or eight-block radius around my house which included all my friends' homes and the drugstores, Woolworth's & markets along Crenshaw Boulevard where I bought my toys, comic books & candy.
Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) Thanks for crediting who brought that chocolate cake. The donors of cakes are usually if not always announced at the LASFS meetings, but sometimes so briefly that I miss hearing them. And often I simply do not remember by the time I am able to write my next issue of ˇRR!, which may be a couple of days later. ## Some nations have allowed postage stamps to be cut in half, with each half valid for postage of half the whole stamp's denomination, but I do not believe that the U.S. ever has. ## I, too, have heard that Ravel grew to hate his "Bolero" after it became the piece that he was always asked to play. He reportedly considered it one of his simpler pieces, and not what he wanted to be remembered for as his greatest work. We do not have to imagine how Arthur Sullivan felt about the public's ignoring of his serious music in favor of his "dance-hall tunes", since his feelings have been documented in almost every biography of Gilbert & Sullivan.