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Amparo Bertram

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08:44 am: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you
Saturday, mangaroo took me along to YaoiCon for some autograph sessions, Yamato Nase and Lynn Flewelling. We came in at the end of the Yamato Nase panel, so we didn't really see much other than a few of her drawings that she was displaying. The Lynn Flewelling "meet and greet" panel was interesting, though I never got picked to ask my question. I guess I just wasn't aggressive enough with the hand raising. Anyway, she had a few memorable quotes:

"Corrupting people, one book at a time."

Re: Other authors who portray gay characters as victims
"<cough> Mercedes Lackey <cough>"

Re: Talking to her sons about homosexuality
"Gay is good! If you turn out to be gay, great!"

After the panel, I had a brief chance to see photoash while fetching something from her room. It's a shame we didn't have more time to chat.

On Sunday, mangaroo drove me all over to buy the black shoes, socks, and belt required for my training in Maryland. The shoes I bought were fairly expensive, but they came highly recommended, and they seem to be comfortable and well padded so far. The belt was trickier, because there were very few size small belts available, and most of them had rhinestones or other decorative aspects that I didn't feel would be appropriate. The one I picked has a big shiny (stainless steel?) buckle with the brand name engraved in it, so I'm not sure it will be acceptable, but it was the best I could find.

Monday I spent all day doing more online lessons. I finally started getting to things that are need-to-know information. There were also lessons on how to keep "for office use only" information confidential.

Tuesday I finished up my online lessons and spent some time in the passenger area watching baggage searches. It was interesting to see the things that people bring from overseas...and how many people lie about bringing forbidden items, such as dried beef or fresh fruit. One person even brought a whole bag full of live snails. It was also informative to see that there are a number of tough judgment calls to make, particularly when someone brings a "spice" or "herbal medicine" that can't be immediately identified...especially so when the person in question can't speak English.

Today I'll be having a meeting with someone doing my Homeland Security background check. I hope that goes well.

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[User Picture]
From:melf42
Date:October 1st, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
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... you are required to have a BELT for your training sessions? Hmm. To hang stuff off of?

It looks like you will be getting the inside scoop on a lot of Mysterious Things, which is pretty exciting.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 1st, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
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To hang stuff off of?

So it seems. I'm likely going to have a knife (for opening packages to inspect) and a radiation detector, and possibly a cell phone.

It looks like you will be getting the inside scoop on a lot of Mysterious Things, which is pretty exciting.

It does feel neat to be part of an "in" group with specific privileges.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:October 1st, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
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Maybe you would have to look in the little boys' section of a clothing store to find a belt if they don't approve of the one you have. I know that as Bob was losing weight, he had to keep punching holes in his belt. Also, I happened to be at the shoe repair shop when someone came in and asked the cobbler to shorten a belt for him. The cobbler did it in a few seconds and didn't charge, but that's in this small town.

Congratulations on finishing the online lessons. I'll bet it's fun observing the process. I always enjoy it more when I'm not the one who has to make the snap decisions.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:October 1st, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
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LOL, every time you mention "online lessons", my brain goes "Oooh, Japanese, where?" Twice in this entry alone!

It sounds like you're having fun with them, more or less. I hope they're well written. The university makes us do some online "lessons" which are the last word in stupid, useless bureaucracy.

PS on shoes: my all-time favorite shoe store in the world is The Walk Shop in Berkeley, near Peets on Walnut & Vine. They specialize in shoes that are extremely well-made and hold up well to long days on one's feet, and they are the BEST. Not cheap at all (the last time I visited mangaroo, I spent more on shoes than I spent on my hotel bill) but worth every penny. I've never bought shoes from them I haven't loved and worn to death.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 2nd, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
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It sounds like you're having fun with them, more or less. I hope they're well written.

Well, some of them are essentially just slide shows that you watch through and get credit. A few have 10-12 questions at the end that you have to answer. The ones with actual information are interesting, but the ones that just list the history of various laws are a snoozefest.

my all-time favorite shoe store in the world is The Walk Shop in Berkeley

That's exactly the shop where she took me. I'm glad to hear that you like the shoes, too. That's reassuring.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:October 1st, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
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GAH! I forgot the Mercedes Lackey thing in my write-up. Yay! for you being there and remembering.
[User Picture]
From:jadelin
Date:October 1st, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
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=) I went to that panel too! Let me know if you have any neat pics from YCon to share! I uploaded mine to a link for the yamato_nase sensei's LJ community.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 2nd, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
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Sorry, but I'm afraid I completely forgot to take my camera, so I didn't get any pictures.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:October 2nd, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
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Re: Other authors who portray gay characters as victims

To be fair, Mercedes Lackey portrays ALL her characters as victims, not just the gay ones.

(That doesn't stop the quote from being funny, though.)
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