Notes from the Underground

December 2007

Table of Contents

Meeting Announcements

The December meeting will be held at Jamie Ritchey’s house (Map of 4729 Kinglet, Houston TX 77035). There is no Video Party in December due to Christmas.

The New Year's Open House will be at Steve Dial's house (Map of 6235 Cheena Dr)

December Birthdays


Club News

Prez Mez December 2007 - Dee Beetem

Season’s Greetings to All!

Our last meeting this year is this Friday. No Video Party due to Christmas (have you sent all your Christmas cards yet?) This is a good time to clear up end-of-year stuff. We usually make charity contributions in December. Let’s review the size of our bank balance and write a few checks to our usual causes. Remember, there’s no reason you can’t make a personal donation as well.

We won’t be running the Orphan Zine Sale at Revelcon this year. Are there other projects we might consider for 2008? We might try for a higher profile at Apollocon, or throw a small all-fandom event of our own.

I didn’t make it to Dickens, but as usual, Jennifer Hebert’s Christmas party was a lot of fun and a great chance to keep in touch with other fans. We owe Jennifer our thanks for arranging this party—I’m sure it’s a lot more work than it looks! Jennifer commented to Erika and me that it might be nice to have a fannish get-together in summer as well—a pool party or a picnic. The question is, where could fans gather that wouldn’t cost a mint? If you know of a cheap or free venue (an apartment meeting room, etc.), please contact Jennifer and tell her about it. Jennifer’s email is

See you at the December meeting!

New Year’s Day Open House

You are invited to Steve Dial’s New Year's Day open house. No need to RSVP; just come if you can make it.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008 (When else would it be?)

Start Time

Probably 12:00 noon, but this is not definite yet

End Time

Four (4) hours after the start time


6235 Cheena Drive Houston, Texas 77096-4616

Contact Steve if you have any questions at

Don’t forget the Yahoo Group for Several Unlimited!

If you find something interesting to do or talk about, you don’t have to wait for the newsletter or a meeting. Post it on the Several Unlimited Yahoo Group at

If you’re not a member of the group, it’s free to join, and you get to select how you want the messages delivered to you!

News and Reviews

Review of Leonard Nimoy on The Full Body Project
by Tom Wells

Tom Hanks & a friend were walking out to a parking lot when a fan came up, praising Hanks as a great actor, and asked if he’d let the fan get a picture with him.
“Sure,” he replied. “But who should we get to take the picture?”
Without hesitation, the fan turned to Mr. Hanks’ companion and said “You’re an accomplished photographer, would you mind?”
“Certainly,” replied Leonard Nimoy, who admits to feeling thus “validated” in one of his many careers after playing Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.

Mr. Nimoy gave a talk and accompanying slide show Saturday afternoon, November 10th, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, promoting his new book of photography: The Full Body Project. A lifelong fascination with images was fostered by the gift of a camera about age six and a fifteen cents per roll home developing kit. One slide showed his parents, his Mom observing through a divider on the left while his Dad walks on away unperturbed. Both are gone now; not surprisingly, his Dad went first.

Nimoy also had some interesting background about the Vulcan ‘peace sign’, where the hand resembles the shape of the Hebrew letter Shin. It stands for “Shekhina”, naming the feminine aspect or worldly manifestation of God, invoked by a Rabbi stretching his hands forth over the congregation during a certain blessing at Temple. It’s traditional that this being then appears in the room; also tradition for all present to keep their eyes closed, lest such a vision might blind someone. The eight year old Nimoy was too curious not to look, recalling the gesture for use in Amok Time.

Nimoy’s first book of photography, The Shekhina Projec”, depicts many aspects of the Feminine. One image has a girl’s arm wound in prayer-bindings traditionally reserved for men. There was some controversy over the aptness of mixing Spirituality AND Sensuality. Once he was to do a talk at the Jewish Federation in Seattle, who asked if he could omit the (2 or 3) nude slides, to which he agreed. After looking at the whole book, they asked him to just skip the slides entirely. Nimoy thought that'd kind of spoil the talk. Eventually, that show date got cancelled. One artist confided his OWN image of the Feminine in God was his beloved Grandmother; if Nimoy’s Feminine/Deity looked like the models pictured, he was a very lucky guy!

One of his models got painted white to contrast with a red apple; another posed to simulate the scandalous marble sculpture of Napoleon’s sister, Countess Paulina Bonaparte Borghese. When required to communicate Time’s passage, he did a 2-second exposure of his head near a bare bulb, turned from facing the light to facing the camera midway through the exposure. One slide shows a slender nude casting a very wide shadow on the wall next to her, to show inside every thin person is a fat person trying to escape!

The Full Body Project grew from his being approached by Heather McAlister, of the Fat Acceptance Movement and San Francisco’s Fat Bottom Review. As a model herself, she asked why none of his were shaped like her. His wife Joy & he invited her to do a shoot at his studio in their country place in central California. He wasn’t satisfied his images did her justice without objectifying her, so he gave her the photos to keep. When she said her husband had said “That’s my Girl!” on seeing them, they included some of her full-bodied women friends in more photos.

Some replicate noted artworks. Some draw from contemporary photographs, and folks have commented that while the thin models in the originals look like they’re cold, the Full Body Project models look comfortable; where the originals’ look serious, sullen or dour, the replicas’ seem to be having a good time! The previous books' photos had been about a concept, the models were incidental; but the photography in this book was more personal to the models themselves.

One of the audience said she was MOVED by the book's Images. Another brought up the fact that the people in classical “Great Art” aren’t skinny and maybe this book could help bring that back.

Nimoy allowed that’s very possible, since Beauty is culturally driven, and subject to change. Doing directing has surely affected his photographer's eye, for composition and such. Routinely he uses Black-&-White, but shoots color when needed; and sees digital photography (replacing film) as something whose time has clearly come; color digital images can easily be printed as Black-&-White, for example.

The next book he's putting together will have pictures of people who came as who they THINK of themselves as being; their “Aristophanes’ other half”, if you will; from a whole day of 5- to 12-minute sessions with 97 subjects he's got hours of video and 800 photos to edit down. One fellow suggested his NEXT project might be a study of aging celebrities; the "Old Acceptance Movement"?

As an artist, he thinks you can best grow if you “Do what scares you”. When considering doing Spock, he consulted Vic Murrow, who advised he could:
1) hide behind Obscuring Make-Up, or
2) let the chips fall where they may!

Nimoy decided that if it was successful, he wanted to get the credit!

Once at a party he felt a strong hand on his shoulder and heard a familiar voice say “I recognize you! You got your ears fixed!” It was John Wayne.

The Full Body Project is available in the MFAH retail shop.

TV Shows Call-Out!

Ann Collins Smith

We watched the pilots of Bionic Woman and Flash Gordon together, and Owen, who has more tolerance than I do, has continued watching both. Flash Gordon has gotten better; I watch it with him now and then. I wish the cast was more diverse, but I do like the humor of the show. Bionic Woman, on the other hand, is getting worse and worse with every episode. I watched a large part of the college episode - the way you can't tear your eyes away from a horrible accident, you know? The other new show we've been watching is Cavemen, which is very uneven. When it is funny, it can be very biting and successful. When it's bad, at least it's short.

We're also still watching "House" and "Rules of Engagement" and enjoying both. We are awaiting the return of Battlestar Galactica; in the meantime, we're eagerly gobbling the minisodes of Razor. We're also enjoying the new season of "Good Eats," though I suppose that doesn't really count as genre television despite the frequent forays into the outer reaches of science, and the endearingly cheap special effects.

Erika Frensley
Although I started out watching Chuck and Reaper, they’ve fallen by the wayside for my new favorite show, “Pushing Daisies”. A Terry Pratchettish surrealistic show that is more sweet than scary, it focusses on Ned, whose first touch can bring people back from the dead for 60 seconds and second touch kills them forever, and Chuck, the love of his life who’s been brought back. Sadly, they can never touch again, but Ned keeps busy with solving crimes with his friend, Emerson, and running his pie shop. Of course, the crimes are more whimsical than the most LSD-written CSI could ever imagine – the husband who was killed by slipping on the poisoned coffee and falling on his letter opener (several times), all because he wanted to clone his dog.

I’ve tried watching Heroes this season, but it just doesn’t quite catch me. Maybe it’s the multitude of characters, or the tiny bits of story every week – either way it just seems slow and fragmented.

Tin Man Review

By Margaret McNickle

Tin Man is an alternate universe version of the Wizard of Oz. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are humans. D.G. (Dorothy) is a princess, a descendant of Dorothy Gale, and sister of the Wicked Witch. At the beginning of the story, D.G. is an unhappy waitress who yearns to move on to something better. In the course of her adventures, she learns astonishing things about her past, her parents, and her place in the world.

D.G. has to find The Emerald of the Eclipse before her sister uses it to bring permanent darkness to O.Z. (Outer Zone). She gets help from unlikely allies who become heroes. Glitch (Scarecrow) was an advisor to the Queen of the O.Z. until Azkadellia (Wicked Witch) had his brain removed. Cain (Tin Man), a former Central City cop and a member of the resistance, spent years imprisoned in a tin suit, forced to watch a holographic movie of the attack on his wife and son. He was an angry BAD cop by the time D.G. (Dorothy) and Glitch let him out. Raw (Cowardly Lion) is a “reader” could see the future. His fear drove him away from his people. Toto, a shape-shifting man shifted alliances too as they traveled along the old road, and has many family secrets for D.G.

D.G. and her friends learn to rely on each other, and make peace with the past. A Mystic Man, cyborgs, rebels, and other strange creatures aid D.G. in her quest. Oz fans will find references to the books, the movie, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Blade Runner (Realm of the Unwanted) and many others I haven’t mentioned. It isn’t quite the Oz we grew up with, but this retelling is worth watching.

For more information, check out this website:



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