Ancient City Con, July 10 & 11 2010

Auntie Maim will be attending as a guest.

Ancient City Con is a sci-fi, fantasy, anime, gaming, and fandom convention held in Jacksonville, Florida. Located at the Hyatt in Jacksonville, it is a fun and successful con (while being relatively new) that is about to hold its fourth annual event.

We hope to see you there, if you live in Florida, or you can make the trip. There will be plenty to do, and some great shopping, as well!

Oasis 23 Panels for Auntie Maim

The panel schedule for Oasis 23 has been posted! Here are my panels:

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What is the future of publishing?  / panelist, Friday at 3pm

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What is selling in Horror? / moderator, Saturday at 10am

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Sex at 10 / panelist, Saturday at 10pm (this is an annual topic favorite, discussing sex in writing and entertainment).

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Charles Darwin and the origins of the undead. / panelist, Sunday at 12pm

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As always, if you visit this website and go to the convention, please do stop by my table (or catch me after a panel) and say hi. Got any writing questions while we’re at it? I’d love to discuss them with you.

The looong wait for May 7 (or, feening for Iron Man2)

I was very late in seeing Iron Man (in theaters back in May 2008). I intended to see it in the theater way back then, but like many movies, it was the one that got away (yes, I miss a lot of things I intend to see). Then I got busy and never noticed the DVD release, either, so…. Suffice to say, I finally saw it in March 2010 (on vacation, and my boyfriend had the DVD). It completely bowled me over, and I became instantly obsessed with seeing the sequel.

Alas, I have a long wait. Yeah, I know, April 9 is not that far away from May 7, but when you factor in how obsession can make time drag, it can seem like an eternity.

Well, I have to run – the people who have been waiting since May 2008 are gathering outside, and some of them have pitchforks….

Gearing up for Oasis 23 in Orlando!

Oasis 23 (a most excellent Science Fiction convention) put on by OASFiS is coming up on Memorial Day weekend in Orlando, Florida and Auntie Maim will be there along with many other guests (check out the Blogroll on the left for the Oasis link for all the details).

I’ll have a table at this one, so if you’re in the area, stop by and say hi. The panel schedule is still being worked out, but I should be on some of them.

See you all there!

AuntieMaim.com Relaunch!

Come on in and take a look around; it’s all been refurbished, cleaned up, upgraded, and improved! The links are on the left sidebar now, in separate categories, each on their own mini scroll. Project links appear on those individual pages, as well.

The best part is, I can now update the news page on the fly when I’m attending conventions, right from my beloved phone. It doesn’t get better than that, folks!

Welcome to the new “world of Auntie Maim”!

Need a giggle? Get "Average"!

My friend Sierra introduced me to a great quick-fix for entertainment today: My Life Is Average (www.mylifeisaverage.com). Here’s a sample of some of the quotes on there that had me laughing for quite awhile:

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My little brother and my dad like to play the board game “Risk,” which simulates war. They have decided to make up a rule where you can take your troops that have already been killed and reuse them as zombies. As I type, they are engaged in a heated debate over the moral implications of zombie warfare.

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Yesterday my mom was decorating the Christmas trees with bunnies. My sister told her that the bunnies had nothing to do with Christmas at all. Today I found little post-it notes on the bunnies saying “equal rights” “we like all holidays!” and “save the bunnies!”

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Today I went to the library to take out rainbow fish to read to the group of kindergardeners I am student teaching. After I got done checking out the librarian looked at me and said “have fun reading rainbow fish” as if I was planning on reading it for recreation. I immediately said “actually it’s to lure children into my van.” Her face was priceless. MLIA.

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Thanks, Sierra! Once I bookmark this site on my Blackberry, I shall never be bored again!

Happy Birthday, Till Lindemann of Rammstein!

Ah, the voice of my favorite band is having another birthday. Hoist a brew (and maybe a chainsaw) to celebrate, man; you’ve earned it. By the way, the new album kicks booty. Hope to see you and the boys in the USA for it this year!

(For the uninitiated, one of Mr. Lindemann’s hobbies is to carve statues out of wood blocks – with a chainsaw. You’re hardcore, Till; just one of the reasons we adore you).

The Semantics of "Value"

What is the definition of “value”?

A bank (which shall remain nameless) is offering “valuable rewards” if you enroll your check card in their program. They’ll even kick in a bonus 650 points for signing up.

Here’s how it works: You use your card for nearly everything (including paying bills) and you get 1 reward point per each $4 spent (but you have to use it as credit, not debit, for it to count). Rack up those points, and turn them into valuable rewards! All this amazing stuff only costs you $12 annually!

Here’s the catch: Remember that 650 bonus points you get? That amounts to the value of a $5 gift card. That’s right, only $5. I know it’s bonus points, so you didn’t spend to get them, but just to illustrate how it works, you would have had to spend $2,600 in goods and services to earn those points. Therefore, you spend $2,600 to get a $5 reward (and you pay $12 annually for this privilege). According to the leaflet that was mailed to me, the “rewards” just keep getting better! For instance, once you have amassed 5,000 points, you can get a $50 gift card from Outback Steakhouse (but you had to spend $20,000 to get those points).

Now maybe my math is off (wouldn’t be the first time, as I hate math) but having to spend $4 to get one point is fairly straightforward math. How in this world can they claim this deal has anything to do with “value”? Granted, they assume this is spending you’d already be doing, so you may as well get something for it, right? Hmmm…. Then there’s that little matter of paying $12 a year. Why would I pay $12 a year for the privilege of spending $20,000 to get $50? If they dreamed this up in Vegas, it would definitely be the house plan, not a gambler’s idea! Take that $50 and minus the $12 – that’s $38. If I ever spend $20,000 in order to be given $38, I will expect one of my close friends to smack me in the head.

What’s the bottom line? Odds are, these “rewards” are being put up by the companies involved. I doubt if the bank is buying gift cards from Outback Steakhouse. Most likely they have their own deal going. I think the bottom line is that if enough people pay $12 a year, the bank could make a lot of money, essentially for nothing. I’m not all that versed in bank dealings, but maybe it helps them to have their card used so much, too, over other bank cards.

I suppose in the end, I’m arguing semantics. However, it is clear that this bank and I differ vastly in our definition of the word “value”.