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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Portrait of the Lobster as a Young Pretentious Dork

I cleaned out some boxes from when I moved in here at the Lobsterland Poetry Farm. That was roughly what, three years ago? Some boxes had been packed hastily and stacked in a corner in the garage and kind of forgotten about. Like they became a part of the support beam they nestled against, I was mostly unaware of their existence except every once in a while, those times when I'd say, "Most of that is probably shit I should throw away, but I'd have to sort through it."

I finally sorted through it, and most of it was indeed shit to throw away. Then there was my rocket with lobster claw shaped fins, that's a keeper. A few other things, and some pictures. And stuff. Stuff like this nametag from Okon87, a Science Fiction convention in Tulsa I attended in 1987 (the name kind of says that, huh?)—not my first con, but probably the first I travelled for.

I remember checking in and being asked my name, and inexplicably saying, "Shockley." The calligrapher nerd at the check-in table dutifully inscribe me Shockley and that was officially my name for the whole weekend. I am not named Shockley, and I've never known anyone with that as a first name (though a girl I went to junior high with had that surname).

I have no idea what that was supposed to mean, but I think that was the con where I ended up making out with a girl called Carellan Beltanis (I'm sure that was on her birth certificate as much as Shockley was on mine) in a Sheraton hotel room. My friends were impressed because this was a scene, a Science Fiction Convention, where there were about 19 hormone driven teenage males for every female of any age or persuasion: getting a cute girl to make out with you on a hotel bed, that was almost incredible enough to be the basis of a new Science Fiction novel or comic book or something.

The nametag was serving as a bookmark in a Larry Niven novel I bought and got autographed at that con, where I met C.J. Cherryh, Robert Asprin and other luminaries of the SF world. Nivens inscribed the book, of course, to Shockley since that's what my nametag said.

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