More sights to show you

Halloween weekend: Necronomicon!

Necronomicon is the closest local equivalent of the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The nice thing about Necro is that the pilgrimage comes to me, rather than the other way around. It’s an annual convention of science-fiction geekdom of high order.

Sadly, I have relatively few pictures to share of this year’s Necro, as an unfortunate accident on my part deleted many pictures from my camera. All was not lost, though, and I do hae much delight to show you.

smoocherie stayed with us for the weekend, which was delightful; we’ve seen more of her these past three weeks than in the six months prior. Shelly got a new, silver corset for this year’s festivities, and it is the hottest. Thing. EVAR.

The convention was, as it always is, the usual assortment of geeks, freeks, and general hottnests. This year’s festivities featured not one but two strip parties; Strip “Are You a Werewolf?” and Strip “Apples to Apples.” Physicist Sir Arthur Eddington once observed, “Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.” It is not, however, so strange that datan0de can not make any part of it into a game in which the players disrobe.

Of bondage, drama, and nudity

Friday night: Strip “Are You a Werewolf?” This is a social game, played with a deck of cards which randomly assigns a role–werewolf, villager, or seer, to the players. A game is played in cycles; each night, the werewolves, whose identity is unknown to the other players, silently and secretly choose a player to devour. That player is then removed from the game, and the seer silently chooses a player and has a vision that identifies that player as villager or werewolf. The villagers, incensed at the heinous crime, vote among themselves as to which of their number they believe to be the werewolf, who is then lynched. The cycle continues until the werewolves devour the villagers or the villagers correctly identify and lynch the werewolves.

Traditionally, the way we play is that each member of the losing side–werewolf or villager–loses an article of clothing.

During this year’s werewolf party, someone brought out a large coil of rope and casually mentioned that it was ideal for tying people up with, and someone else–a friend of phyrra and nihilus–eagerly volunteered to be the subject. “Well, hey,” someone else–I didn’t quite catch who–said, “Franklin here does rope bondage, and the next thing you know…

“I’ll try to do this without groping you,” sez I. “Groping’s cool, grope away,” sez she. I managed not to grope her–probably a good thing, since her partner appeared about midway through, within seconds of this picture being taken, and there was some drama. I didn’t witness the drama, and I’m told it was resolved amicably the following day, which is always good.

Got a nasty rope burn on my thumb, though.

Of elevators, Apples to Apples, and taking over the world

Saturday we made our appearance at the convention quite late, a fact I blame on smoocherie. I wanted to go to bed early, see, but she insisted on being interesting at me.

We arrived eventually, and ate ice cream. Ran into an old partner of mine, M:

smoocherie, M, and Shelly

Also spent some time with my archnemesis, and saw his hero, Gir:

My partner S‘s other partner Sterling entered, and won, the masquerade contest. I’m told this is a character from the TV show Angel; never seen it.

Necro was held in a new hotel this year. Traditionally, in every hotel which plays host to the convention, at least one of the elevators will fail every year…and this year continued the tradition. Fortunately, the new hotel is equipped with hydraulic elevators, which don’t fall when they’re overloaded.

The elevators were mirrored, as all swanky elevators in all upscale hotels are.

smoocherie multiplied, and my partner S

Later that evening: strip Apples to Apples.

Sunday: Groping and Relationship Negotiations

istislah showed up on Sunday, so sadly missed much of the activities. She did, however, bring a rather copious supply of M&Ms.

Now, negotiation is an important part of any relationship, particularly a polyamorous relationship or a BDSM relationship. smoocherie and I are, for example, currently negotiating the beginning of a relationship right now. However, even the fearsome negotiation skills of all of us combined–smoocherie, Shelly, Sterling, and I–failed before the complexity of the negotiations over istislah‘s M&Ms. In fact, I was just today informed that istislah has made a unilateral and entirely non-negotiated decision regarding the disposition of the remaining M&Ms, something which might warrant a Kierista-style gestalt on the subject.

She also took advantage of the opportunity to grope smoocherie, something that may or may not have been negotiated but definitely needed no intervention:

I had more pictures, which have been sent to digital oblivion–among them being pics during Werewolf and many pics of S and the members of the Smoosh. smoocherie snapped this pic of me, which is horribly backlit but shows off my fun “Hellraiser” jacket:

I know a lot of you guys out there have additional pics, which I need to get copies of…datan0de? zensidhe? nekkidsteve? (I got the pics you sent of the impromptu bondage session.) Anybody else?

I have such sights to show you…

…and many weeks to catch up on. It’s been a busy, exhausting, overwhelming, and fun few weeks.

I have not read LiveJournal in over two weeks now, so if I’ve missed anything anyone finds particularly compelling, now’s the time to say so. 🙂

So on to the past few weeks!

Shortcut to Nirvana

Two weeks ago last Saturday, smoocherie came into town and we went to the movies. Sound like an ordinary evening? Wait; it gets weirder.

An old friend from many years ago was in town from Seattle, and rang me up to see if we could get together. We invited her to go see the movie with us; Shelly and smoocherie and I were meeting another old friend, Charlie, to see a documentary on an Indian religious festival, Kumbh Mela, called Shortcut to Nirvana. The film’s director, Nick Day, is a friend of Charlie’s, and was on hand for the movie.

If you’ve never heard of the movie, I strongly recommend it. You can find it on DVD on the film’s Web site. The Kumbh Mela is thew largest gathering of people anywhere for any reason in the entire history of mankind, yet very few people outside of India have ever heard of it.

Got a photo op of the group of us at the theater:

Nick, Charlie, smoocherie, Shelly, and me

After the movie, we all kidnapped Nick and decided to show him around Ybor. First stop: sushi! We talked about religion and God and the role of science and philosophy and HBO’s awful series Sex and the City…Nick is intelligent, articulate, and very well educated, and a fascinating speaker.

After dinner, my Seattle friend, who had already seen the movie and skipped the film to go out partying, invited us to a lesbian bar.

But not just any lesbian bar…rather:

The most dreadful lesbian bar in the world

I say that with complete confidence, even though I have not, in fact, been to every lesbian bar in the world. I can state with absolute certainty that even in the blackest heart of Calcutta in the days leading up to the Great War, you would not have found a more dreadful lesbian bar.

It’s not just the place. The bar itself wasn’t particularly dreadful; a tiny, almost unnoticeable hole in the wall, reached by a steep flight of narrow stairs leading into darkness…uncomfortable certainly, but not especially dreadful.

A truly dreadful experience has to be a well-rounded experience, and indeed this bar fit the bill.

Imagine a cramped, narrow bar that’s mostly a dance floor, with a tiny stage on one end and a distinct lack of usable facilities. Now, cover every square inch of the place in dreadful Halloween decorations from the local Wal-Mart. Still not especially dreadful overall, but moving in that direction.

Now stage a completely over-the-top drag king show in this place. Still not dreadful; drag king shows are supposed to be over-the-top, right? Ah, but here it comes, the piece de resistance: Imagine that this show is being overseen by a huge, and very loud, MC who sincerely believes that the height of wit is insulting the patrons at the top of her voice, while jumping up and down and sweating profusely, and then cause the sound system to fail intermittently. The sound system is an important element because when it failed during a performance, it made it just that much easier to hear the MC singing along to the song.

These words can’t really convey the dread of the place, in much the same way that calling Great Cthulhu a smelly squid can’t adequately communicate the horror of the Great Old Ones. The combined experience was the stuff of which Lovecraft novels are made.

But I digress.

Nick and Charlie were good sports about it all, and eventually the group of us fled with at least seventy percent of our sanity points intact. smoocherie even managed to get in some wiggling with my friend, which was great fun to watch, despite the multitude of horrors around us.

Downtown Ybor is currently home to some of the most fascinating grafitti I’ve ever seen, and seems to be a sort of Mecca of grafitti these days; I took pictures of many interesting specimens, which I had planned to share with all of you. Unfortunately, I pressed a wrong button and inadvertently deleted all of the images from my camera. Perhaps later.

The rest of the weekend was much more placid–shopping for fetish clothes with smoocherie and generally ignoring the impending threat of the hurricane, which passed us by with nary a problem. We heard a techno cover of the Clash’s Rock the Casbah in one of the fetish stores, which just goes to show you.