Month: January 2010

Calling Seattle-Area Victoriana Buffs

It’s Bartitsu time! You know, Bartitsu — the 19th century “gentlemanly art of self-defense,” AKA Victorian stick-fighting … coming to Seattle via seminar on March 6, at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts. Behold, a link: Bartitsu In Seattle.

The seminar’s presenters are creating a documentary on this subject, called Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes. For lots of information and fun old photos (plus great period fashion, including that of 19th-century women martial artists) take a peek at this trailer.*

For the record, I have no affiliation with these people and I don’t know any of them, either. I only thought it sounded neat. And yes, this information is more-or-less cross-posted over on LiveJournal’s SteamFashion community.

* Yes, they have permission to use that Abney Park music.

good news/bad news

This morning I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning — my last before our bullet-proof insurance benefits go away at the end of this month. I’d been having a little sensitivity with one particular tooth; so while I was there, I asked about it. The doc did some tests. He poked and prodded. And it soon became quite evident that I have a 20-year-old silver filling essentially rotting out. I also have a teeeeny cavity. When I say “teeny” I mean “the doc said if he knew for sure I was coming back in six months he’d say to forget about it for awhile.” That’s how teeny.

So. This means I can either go back tomorrow and spend $275 while it’s Kind Of Uncomfortable But Not Dire … or wait until the thing fails altogether and then try to scrape up $900 for the same set of fixes without insurance.

Ergo, I’m sucking it up and going back tomorrow around lunchtime, which kind of makes me want to throw darts at babies.

Before anyone pipes up with, “Why don’t you just keep your benefits with COBRA?” let me tell you something about our COBRA plan — which, I’ll have you to know, we are on right this moment: It costs us over $800 a month. And although it gives me a bit of a thrill to imagine the COBRA Commander bickering with Destro over our prescription plan and out-of-pocket deductible, we simply can’t afford to maintain this much longer. We’re downgrading to a much crappier plan because it’s all we can swing with both of us now being effectively self-employed; and no, this crappier plan does not come with dental or vision coverage.

To sum up: After tomorrow, our eyes and teeth are on their own. So I’m fixing these stupid teeth while I can still afford to, and praying that I meet no more pirates in Portland.*

Yeah, anyway. This sucks. It’s not the end of the world, obviously — I mean, being hideously underinsured isn’t as bad as being completely uninsured, as I ought to know. I spent much of my early adulthood uninsured, and I survived, didn’t I? Of course, I had pneumonia twice and ended up putting almost $8,000 on credit cards that I only finally paid off this year; and I went ten years without seeing a dentist, but you know, hey. At least my healthcare isn’t paid for by COMMUNISTS.

[:: eyeroll ::]

* If you’ve been reading here awhile, you may recall that last year I got into a knife fight with a pirate, and thus broke my glasses. Never you mind the rumor that I tripped and fell on a sidewalk. It was much more glamorous than that. No, for real.

Question of the Day

I’ve been asked this question several times over the last few days, so apparently I ought to make a statement on the matter: Yes, if you order the trade paperback version of Fathom (available Feb. 2) from the University Book Store here in Seattle, I will totally sign it and personalize it for you. All you have to do is follow the directions available here, same as before.

This is true of any book I have in print. It would seem that I’ve been insufficiently clear on this point; but I hope this straightens things out.