June 21st, 2008


It's all Serenity-flavored

Right now Portland's Hollywood neighborhood has a Serenity flavor. The Portland Can't Stop the Serenity event just held the first of this weekend's three screenings of the movie spun off of Firefly; the Moon & Sixpence pub nearby was aswarm with gently-humored Browncoats, some in costume; and the Hollywood branch of Things From Another World had Firefly/Serenity fan music playing, including "A Man Named Jayne," with all sorts of Dark Horse-produced Firefly/Serenity swag displayed prominently.

Fundraising via Serenity is happening again. Tonight wasn't near a sellout -- the Hollywood was about half-full -- but I hope other numbers make up for that: Friday night's raffle netted $715, including $10 of my funds. (I won two prizes! First was a framed Serenity trading card of Mr. Universe and Lenore his love-bot, signed by the actress who played Lenore; second was a Inara gift-pack with a candle, head decoration and incense. Really neat other raffle prizes were given out tonight, too, including original Serenity comic book art, a signed photo of the mind-meltingly gorgeous Summer Glau, and the Mal gift-pack including -- of course -- a little pony and a plastic rocket! Inside joke, for those of you not Firefly/Serenity fans.)

We watched the movie again, appreciatively -- I'm very fond of it -- and cheered the mission of Equality Now, which is benefitting from CSTS. It wasn't as elaborate a presentation as before -- there was no pre-film video, as there'd been last year -- but there was a good energy to the show. We were glad to be there, we somewhat raggedly sang "The Hero of Canton," we got caught up in the drama of the flick, and afterwards we enjoyed fire dancers who performed outside the theater. ("They're poised with poi," I said.)

Two more showings happen Saturday: a 1 p.m. matinee and a 7 p.m. screening. In between at 5:15 is a presentation of two short films partly funded by the Women's Film Institute (the other charity benefitting from Portland's CSTS): those are the films Person, Place or Thing and Sentence For Two. And after Serenity will be Raffle Part Last in the theater, and a costume party back at the Moon & Sixpence. I'll be there, for the 7 p.m. film, the raffle and the party.

This feels a little petty. I'll still feel it. (Formerly Friends-Locked)

This, I wanted to say less publicly:

While at the Moon & Sixpence tonight before Serenity screened, waiting for a quick appetizer (sausages rolled in pastries) to serve as my dinner, I sat at one of the longer tables and had a conversation with a man I won't name. And it was a difficult, hard-to-engage talk. He seemed a little sad and a little-more-than-that negative; even his smile seemed sad. Our talk didn't flow, which is what conversation should do. Still, I felt weirdly committed to trying to draw him out, get him more engaged (like telling the "Jewel Staite: so sexy it's scary?" story). Didn't quite work. There are limits to how much one can talk about food allergies, especially when the convo is about as circumscribed as I can't eat this or that and I have bad reactions to this other thing and...

And I realized that this was eating away at my patience. I found enough reserves of patience to visit with him for a while more, and I made sure to say "Nice to meet you" when he prepared to leave for the theater. He didn't reply verbally, or with a hand gesture (I was sticking out my hand at that point, hoping maybe to get a handshake); his radiating sort-of-sadness simply stayed, not quite covered by his smile. I became better engaged with other attendees, and then I became engaged with the film screening, so things got better from my perspective. But it make me think:

One of the reasons I decided to leave my job was that I was losing my patience, while putting up with a lot of negative energy (far more than what this Firefly fan was radiating) in my old office. And I like having my patience. I need to rebuild it; I used to have patience skills. Getting it back, as I realized tonight, is a work in progress...and the work, I know, will be worth it.
Me 1

Photo! (Can't Stop the Serenity, Friday night)

After last night's Serenity screening, Mike "Culture Pulp" Russell was kind enough to take pictures, including this one:

Kara and Chris
Kara and Chris
Kara (a.k.a. "Shinyfab") and me in the Hollywood Theatre lobby, after the screening; photo by Mike "Culture Pulp" Russell


Kara was one of the show runners, with a headset to keep in touch with people when not at the theater. She'd borrowed the tophat from one of the guys who earlier had led us in singing "The Hero of Canton."

I'm holding the Inara gift basket I'd won in the raffle.