Issue No. 33, March/April 2000
|Welcome to the March-April
edition of News for the OBSSEsed! In this issue:
S I G N & G R A P H I C S
G U L A R C O L U M N I S T S
N T R I B U T O R S t o No. 33
by Sister Autumn
Obviously, we are running a little behind. Truth be told there's been so much going on at the Abbey this month that we decided to do a March/April combo issue with a special News Update to run in April to make sure everyone knows what is going on in the Abbey (check the main web page for that update mid-April). Preparations for FEST and the Scully Marathons have left us all very busy, so we appreciate your patience with OBSSE Central this month.
The Vagina Monologues
Of course the OBSSE event to be at last month was the Vagina Monologues where Gillian absolutely floored the lucky enough to be there Sisters of the Abbey with her wonderful monologue (and over $300,000 was raised for women's charities). Swoodsie was going around saying, "I shouldn't have taken it swimming" for days after, and I still don't think Tammy's washed her shoulder (see her article to find out what I mean). What an empowering and special evening on the whole. Playwright Eve Ensler has done a wonderful thing for women. Second only to that was Paula's fabulous OBSSE after party that Friday night which saw about 40 members of the Abbey and even an X-Files guest star enjoying Scullyritas, company, games, and of course my toast. Nothing like a good party amongst friends to get you primed for FEST.
Thanks to the hard work of Sister SpicedRum Operation Crazy Quilt has been a big success. We had over fifty Abbey members participate in creating this unique gift for Gillian Anderson which includes filks, computer generated artwork, letters, reviews, poetry, original sketches and paintings. We'll be getting it out to her sometime this month as a way of saying thanks for giving us Scully.
Mailing List News
After two and a half years and nearly 600 members, it is time to make some changes with the mailing list. Seeing as though the end is drawing near for the series and we are definitely at critical mass we will be closing the list to new members as of this announcement. The mailing list will continue in its present form until after FEST and then additional changes will be made as your Elders enter their X-Files retirement along with David and Gillian.
Many thanks to Leslie Pierce and her crack crew of Skull, Mandy, Minor, and Rania for capturing all that is the OBSSE in their fabulous OBSSE Yearbook. Years may come and go, but I think we'll all remember the time we spent in this crazy Abbey. Now we just need to figure out a way to sign them.
FEST registration opened earlier this month (see article) and as of now it is the last planned FEST. However, who's to say it might not be fun for some of us to get together a little more informally in a couple of years to watch a little summer movie together and relive old times...
You'll also find information in this issue about our marathons for NF, Inc. (the first of which is held in just a few days). I strongly encourage each and every OBSSE member to participate in some way either via group marathons, smaller gatherings, or just making a donation yourself. It's a great way to say thank you to Gillian for all the joy she's given us here in the Abbey, and it's tax deductible.
Also don't forget to save your money for the Fourth Annual GAWS Auction for NF this May as well. The wonderful folks there are busily compiling an incredible list of items to auction off, and have even asked me for a few suggestions so if you see Scully's machete from The Sixth Extinction up there you know who suggested that.
Things always seem to move pretty fast here at the Abbey, and within a week of announcing FEST registration open on the mailing list we are already over our planned number of 100 attendees. Since traditionally a few people do drop out, we will be waitlisting those Abbey members who wish to attend and will notify you if a slot becomes available. You can register for FEST (or simply sign up to get one of this year's Camp Scully scrub shirts) at the FEST webpage. If you are attending and haven't secured your accommodations please do so ASAP as we will be releasing any unused rooms. Also don't forget to go through the special Minnesota primer to get yourself ready.
I have a daughter who would come in on Friday nights as I was writing papers for school, and insist on turning off the lights to watch some idiot program.. We compromised by my turning on a little light and working away on the computer. It had eerie music and silly dialogue that interfered with my scholarly pursuits. I would say, "What is happening?" and she would say, "Mulder ditched Scully for a giant alligator." "Oh, right," I would say. Then, "Mom, you have to watch this. He can squeeze into people's houses through the commode." I would say. "Oh good." This went on for a while, the only change being that the irritation came on Sunday night instead of Friday night. It made scant difference to the scholarly paper writer except that it was a little closer to deadline. I worked at the State for aggravation and pennies.
It was against this background that my baby informed me that she was joining an Internet Cult. Not only that, the cult was devoted to that TV program, The X-Files. She let me read what was being written on line and in the newsletters and I was a little mollified. But I did not tell my friends what was going on at my house because I did not them on my case for letting Meredith on the Internet much less joining cults.
My daughter told
me how her friends got together on a computer and played "find the pervert"
in the chat rooms. She said that she was the
During spring break
of 1998, Meredith asked if one of her OBSSE friends
How did I become hooked on the X-Files? I am not sure. I think that it had to do with the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, I am sure that it was all their fault. They turned into a bunch of drug snorting jerks and Jimmy Jones was the worst. Well, except for Troy. I refused to watch them anymore. I had to do something else. Meredith had left a bunch of tapes of the X-Files (and some of Daria and Buffy, but that is another story) and out of desperation I watched some. I became hooked. And the rest is known to you all.
When I first started watching the X-Files, I was still in high school and Mom was working on a master's degree. The computer was in the same room as the TV, so every Friday night the battle would wage over the degree of lighting. Mom always won. I tried desperately to get her interested in my new favorite show, but since she had endured my other obsessions with her typical enthusiasm ("Guitar. That's nice, dear. Go play on the back porch.") she didn't have much time to spare on a TV show.
"Hey Mom," I would say, "there's this show with this special agent who is a woman and kicks serious ass, I think you would really like her."
"Oh, right." she would say, like I mentioned alligators or commodes or something.
Weeks went by, months went by, and I discovered the OBSSE on a lovely summer's day in early June of 1997. Mom was never comfortable with my being on the internet, and she was definitely not thrilled.
"Hey Mom," I would say, "I found this group on the internet devoted to that agent who kicks serious ass on The X-Files and they've got the best sense of humor. It's an 'abbey' with Scully as their patron saint. You should read some of the hilarious things they've got."
"Scully. She's the woman, right?" she would say, obviously translating my words as "Hey Mom, I joined an internet cult dedicated to a fictional character. I'm selling all my belongings and going to live in a compound in Colorado."
When I was recruited into the Rogues, I mean Kitchen Crew, she thought I'd really gone off the deep end. Though I can't blame her on that one. She has a son who at that time was in South America somewhere with the Green Berets, and a daughter who spent her lovely summer days inside pretending to hack into 1013 cast lists and set up explosives on the Fox lot. Not that the Kitchen Crew does that.
Months went by.
It was my senior year of high school and I was wearing combat boots, too
much black eyeliner, and dyed my hair red in the meantime. Mom of
course blamed the OBSSE. In retaliation, she would
"Hey Mom," I would say, "Can I get this X-Files T-shirt?"
"It's your money," she would say, "Waste it on whatever crap you want."
So let's just say
that she was less than happy when I asked if an internet friend could stay
with us when she came to Austin for Spring Break. Especially when
she found out that even though this person's name was
"Hey Mom," I would say, "There's a bunch of people in the OBSSE from all over like Singapore and Great Britain and Germany and all over the U.S. coming to watch the new X-Files movie that's coming out and just have a get-together in June. It's in Austin, so I'm going to go. Sick!Chickie will be coming too."
"Right," she would say, "Don't spend too much money and come home if you're uncomfortable."
See? She was getting pretty cool about the whole thing.
One day during Fest I came home, with about 15 nuns in tow for lunch. (The other reason was to make a raid on the kitchen for my potato peeler, Super Soaker, and lipstick. Not that we were planning anything. Because we weren't at that point.) But Mom was charmed by the likes of Chickie and Gen and Chish and Minor Shannon and happily opened up her home and let them meet the duck.
Shortly thereafter she joined the OBSSE herself. I chose not to make too much fun of her because I knew that if I was good maybe she'd stop giving me so much hell for my X-Files habit, even though she persisted in giving me strange looks whenever I showed her my Blessed Remission Chip or my Scully Rosary. Some people have no taste.
That September, I left for college in Massachusetts. I only had enough room for two of my X-Files tapes, so I chose the one with Memento Mori and Never Again, and the one with Kill Switch and Bad Blood. Had I known what was about to transpire I would have found a way to take them ALL. While I was gone, Mom must have been reading the OBSSE newsletters or something. Or maybe she got bored. Maybe football wasn't on. Whatever the reason, she started watching my XF tapes. All of them, dutifully taped and labeled with name, date, and number for two and a half years, even the reruns. Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind that she was watching them because it meant that she would tape Season Six for me while I was stuck in Massachusetts without a reliable VCR. Except she didn't just watch them. When I came home for Christmas, my two beloved XF tapes in tow, and she TOOK them. CONFISCATED them. I wasn't even allowed to take my Season One tape labeled with titles like "Volcanoes or Some Such Rubbish" back to Smith with me. I was sent back to ice-covered Massachusetts in a state of tapeless woe and without hope of getting any more.
Then Mom figured out IRC and joined the mailing list. Can I ever begin to express how weird it is to post to the list and then have your mother write you and say, "Your post was funny, but you forgot a comma." and say "Hi Mom!" when you enter a chat room? Or get an email that says "Oh, sure, never have time to write ME but you can write the OBSSE people?"
Though to be honest,
all things considered, I'm glad she's in the Order. She's grown to
love my red hair. I knew what to get her for Christmas. We hosted a Scully
Marathon. I began to get care packages with the Movie in them. I got the
X-Files game that first Christmas home, which led Mom to buy a new
computer because her old one wasn't fast enough to play the
"Hey Mom," I said, "my computer is a little too slow to play the game, just like yours was."
"Great!" she replied, "Mail the game home!"
What's not to love?
Though the ultimate
perk to having Mom in the Order was definitely Fest 1999. Mom decided she
was going without even batting an eyelash at such things as beavers, lard,
and the fact it was not in Austin this year but in Winter Park. The two
of us planned to roadtrip just like Thelma and Louise without the firearms
and the cliff. She got together no less than
And while I was in Montreal, La.. came up with the idea for this article. I approached Mom about it and she was happy to do it. We finally got to emailing Paula about it several months later. She said it would be due February 20. We had been thinking about it for awhile, so we thought it would be a snap. We began emailing each other bits and pieces of it. Sort of. Once I used a cattle prod.
"Hey Mom," I would write, "Do you have the second part of your piece?"
"Oh, right," she would reply. "I got two of them mashed together. Keep your shirt on and stop snickering."
Though from this quote, one can see how cool she has grown because of you people. I'm sure there's worse things to bond with Mom over than an article for an internet group, the internet group, going to a fest for the internet group, laughing over the latest thing Scully did, or getting to use words like "CHarc," "prancy" or "Ted Danson" at home. All in all, it's not a bad way to live. Besides, I'm sure that I'm never going to get a phone call from home between the hours of 9-10pm Eastern on Sunday nights.
Oh, and Mom? I do NOT have a tape of Buffy.
Meredith: Mom, they want a mother-daughter perspective for the newsletter.
Janelle: Okay when do they need it?
Meredith: December 20.
Janelle: Well okay. What will we write about?
Meredith: I do not know. It will come to us.
Janelle: Fine, let me know when I have to write.
* * *
Meredith: We missed the deadline for the December Newsletter.
That is okay, we will have lots of time when you are here for
* * *
Meredith: We missed the January deadline.
Janelle: When is the next one?
Meredith: February 20.
Janelle: I will write something and e-mail it to you.
Meredith: Here is something that I have written.
Janelle: I like that approach, let us do a Bad Blood kind of thing.
Meredith: I do not like the part about what you said about the Internet.
Janelle: Okay I will change it.
* * *
Meredith: We should write our article.
Janelle: Oh yes, I had let that slip my mind. Okay e-mail me what you have if it is any different and we can do a Severed Review complete with insults. You want to give it a try or is that too obvious?
We can rip people off all we want. Though I feel safer
Janelle: Okay, BB it is. Have you written anything new yet?
Meredith: Uh... no. Will do.
Janelle: Uh yes, me too just as soon as I load the washer.
Meredith: Good call. <g>
Janelle: What is your excuse? <g>
Meredith: I'm going to college.
Janelle: LOL, you twit.
Janelle: Get to work.
Meredith: Yes ma'am!
Janelle: Well now the duck pond is filling.
Janelle: Those new snap lock pools take a lot of work
Meredith: That I know.
Janelle: How is your writing going?
Meredith: Well. I'm to my joining the Rogues.
Janelle: Do you think that we should write about * not writing* the piece?
Janelle: Well go for it!
Meredith: Well, right now I'm only to 1997.
Janelle: Okay I am almost to graduation 1998 and Chickie came at SB 98.
Meredith: Just got to 98.
I am deiting <g>
Meredith: Well, I'll do that when I have something written.
Janelle: Okay I am going to send you some stuff, on e-mail. How are you doing?
Meredith: Pretty good. I'll send you what I've got.
Janelle: Okay then it will be time to put the clothes in the dryer.
Meredith: So where's this thing you're sending me?
Janelle: I got two of them mashed together. Keep your shirt on and stop snickering.
Meredith: Don't worry, my part will get shorter when I edit.
Janelle: I am not worried, let the Newsletter worry.
Meredith: Deal. This is pretty funny. So are we going to mash them together or have two separate accounts?
Janelle: What do you think will work best?
Meredith: I have no idea. We'll look at our options.
Meredith: I'm going to have to go to brunch soon.
Janelle: Okay did you get the last paragraph?
Meredith: Lemme check.
Meredith: I HAD NO BUFFY.
Janelle: You have BUFFY.
Meredith: DO NOT!
Meredith: We can put this in, you know.
Janelle: I have in my hands a tape that says Buffy and Dawson's Creek.
Janelle: I left out Dawson's in deference to your sensibilities.
Meredith: It's not Buffy and Dawson's Creek. It's X-Files. Put it in and see.
Why did you not tell me I had more X-Files? It still says
Meredith: It's Elaine's tape.
Janelle: A likely story
It does not look like your handwriting but if it is not X-Files
Janelle: I am checking. Go to brunch.
Janelle: Before all the dairy free people get the good food.
<g> You're funny. I'm almost finished with this part, lemme mail
it to you.
By Brother Mike
About a week ago, I was sitting at a table drinking margaritas with Autumn, discussing the many fine uses of the word "byzantine," when she suggested that I could write an article about the CHarc from a man's point of view. Naturally, I graciously accepted this challenge and immediately began work on this article.
Ok, I lied. Everyone got drunk and I told Autumn to shut up, so she made me do it.
My knowledge of the CHarc is minimal at best-- Usually an email with "CHarc" in the subject gets put in my "to read later" folder. My personal experience of the CHarc extends to the ability to say "Hey, season 7 hair is terrible," and to notice that Scully tends to get shot when wearing white. Naturally, I'm the perfect person to write this article.
First, I will start
with my hypothesis. I believed that every man would
The beginning of almost every interview went like this:
Ok, I have a quick question for you. What do you think of the CHarc on
In most cases, I eventually got some sort of response. One group refused to comment, being more than content to drink beer and watch late-night reruns of Animal House. The rest of the responses are listed below:
know the feeling. It's 10:13 on a Sunday morning, and you can tell before
you even wake up that it's going to be a bad day. Your head is pounding.
Your stomach is objecting to the last thing you had before going to bed
on Saturday, which was either that last spicy tuna hand roll, or hey, maybe
it was the 17 frozen margaritas (no salt). Your muscles ache. You scraped
a knee. Your hair hurts. You open one bleary eye and recognize... nothing.
You blink, and slowly, the few braincells
remaining to you start to
(Author's note: Unless, of course,
you did actually wake up in a completely
What you just experienced was a brief flash
of this month's Scary Science
Agnosia is from the greek: "A" meaning
without, and "gnosia" meaning
(Author's note: I was shocked to realize this was an actual diagnosis, primarily as I once introduced myself to my own aunt at a family gathering. . Yes, first and last names. . No, it wasn't pretty.)
VISUAL AGNOSIA can be apperceptive, meaning that there is a difficulty in "seeing" an object, or associative, meaning that the object is seen, but not recognized. The inability to see the above-referenced Towering Pile O'Laundry (tm) is apperceptive VISUAL AGNOSIA, and the ability to see the pile, but not be able to recognize it as dirty, or as laundry, is associative VISUAL AGNOSIA. (The inability to deal with the laundry, while seeing and recognizing it is what we in the medical profession refer to as "normal.")
Chronic VISUAL AGNOSIA can be quite difficult to live with. Every day one is faced with questions like, "Is that an armoire, or a refrigerator in the living room?" "Is that a UFO in the sky? A weather balloon? Swamp gas?" "Is that a haircut, or is a wild beaver napping on top of Mulder's head?" "And who is that woman at the door? Is it my sister? So why does she bear no physical resemblance whatsoever to the sister I had last year?"
If you find yourself experiencing visual
agnosia, here are some handy do's -n- don'ts for how to handle the situation:
Lastly, do remember that almost everyone experiences transient episodes of VISUAL AGNOSIA. Relax, take a deep breath, and see if everything goes back to normal once the tequila is out of your system. That's it for VISUAL AGNOSIA. See you next month, when the Scary Science word will be .. erm. that thing. With the thing.
[The author extends grateful thanks to Julia, in the editing department of The Law Firm of Cathy S. Gen, Glasses ... OK and Colin, Too).]
Yes - another caption. Start writing!
"Mulder, she's wearing my outfit."