Worldcon (Part the Fourth)

The pun wars raged behind me. The war was horrific; the puns stank to high heaven. That’s what happens when one of the Guests of Honor at your convention is Spider Robinson and as part of the tribute, Worldcon had set up a working Callahan’s Bar, including hosting some of the events in the books. That’s why there was a pun war. Why did I care? Because the Fanzine Lounge was technically located at the back of Callahan’s Bar.

To be honest, most of the puns were difficult to hear because the sound was rather muddy and muted in our corner, but that was okay. I saw Murray Moore, and there was a moment where we had to remind each other what cons we’d seen each other at before — the San Jose Corflu and the Reno Worldcon to be specific. Murray’s a great guy — he’s always so calm and thoughtful. I always like seeing him.

Shortly thereafter, it also gave me a chance to catch up with John Coxon, who I hadn’t seen since he was the TAFF delegate running around the Worldcon in Reno. We talked about the fact that he’d spent some time in Berkeley and now understood what the script Cal on my ball cap stood for and a bit about the fact that he was going to be in the masquerade that evening. Then there was some laughing remembrance of the day Chris Garcia, James Bacon, and John Coxon dropped by Sacramento on their way to Reno. I left work to meet them for lunch and we all went to an all-you-can-eat pizza place tucked into an obscure corner of Old Sacramento. It’s fun to talk about good memories. A friend of John’s asked him if the pizza was any good, and John basically said, “How should I know? I was hanging out with friends! And it was all-you-can-eat pizza!”

Ah, but the hour approached, and if I was going to catch Kirsten the way I caught Doug, I needed to hoof my way over to panel-land and wait. While I was waiting, I noticed the folks handing out copies of Amazing!, and I noticed that one of them was Steve Davidson. I’ve only known Steve online, but when I was a little more active with my fan writing, he has been supportive of my efforts. It was good to finally meet him in person.

Then I took up my position in front of the door, waiting for the panel to let out, and trying not to lose my place as the hallway became alive with particles bouncing in all sorts of random directions. Most of them stayed in general paths down the center of the room, but it seemed as if many of these particles were getting trapped in accumulations around doors, almost as if the doors themselves were clogged drains. Then, suddenly, there was a burst, and the drain unclogged, and two different flows tried to push against each other! Then, there was me, a still particle in a wild chaos of motion, a spot of calm in the dance…and then my quarry appeared.

After that, I joined the flow as well, with another friend who was happy to see me. Kirsten and I spent some time catching up, and then she said, “I could use a donut.” I paused, and then I said, “That sounds like an excellent plan.”

Folks, these were not ordinary donuts. There’s a few places around the country that make, for lack of a better term, gourmet donuts. The most famous of these places is probably Voodoo Donuts in Portland, OR, but San Jose has Psycho Donuts, and they had set up a table at Worldcon. I never passed by this table without seeing at least a bit of a line. The line was oh so worth it, though, as suddenly, you were confronted by all these amazing donuts — donuts with cereal as a topping, donuts of banana and caramel, donuts with actual strawberries as a topping — all sorts of amazing things.

After a quick perusal, I picked one with a spaceship on the top and a fruit filling for the science fiction part of Worldcon (a Nebula something, I don’t remember), and an amazingly crazy blue frosted donut covered with sparkles and stars and sprinkles and balls of sugar, and another crazy squirt of bright blue line frosting. This wonderful creation was called “Unicorn Farts”, and it stood up to its name in every fashion.

Kirsten has to head off to a convention office — this is the trouble with catching up with Bay Area friends at a Bay Area Worldcon, a lot of them are on staff — so I wandered back to the fanzine lounge to see who I could find there. There’s always somebody interesting there, and if there isn’t, there’s always somebody shortly. I pulled out my donuts to enjoy them and to watch the convention pass by. I’m fond of people-watching and eventually, people will gravitate towards a table where somebody is sitting. That’s sometimes how I’ve gotten into my best conversations at conventions.

This time was no exception. Ranger Craig got some time to sit down and enjoy the fanzine lounge and tell us some great tales. I won’t repeat them here, because they’re his stories to tell, but he’s a great storyteller. I spoke with James Bacon for a moment as he came to drop off a book for the fan fund auction, and I wished him well for his convention next year but told him it’s doubtful I’ll make it. I’ve been inactive in fandom and I don’t feel like I’m in a stable enough place in my life to mount a TAFF bid for next year. That’s about the only way I’m going to make it, bar winning the lottery.

Shortly, Schirm brought something interesting to the table — a portable crank phonograph from the 1920s. Along with it, he had several records, one dating to the time where, in order to record, the singers had to sing into a horn as there were no microphones. He also had several early jazz records, and some other novelty records. It was amazing that this machine, nearly a hundred years old, produced such amazing quality sound with no speaker, no batteries, and no power cord. It had just a crank, a needle, and a case that provided the resonance for us to hear it.

Things like Schirm’s wonderful phonograph are things one wouldn’t necessarily think of as belonging to science fiction and fantasy fandom, but in many ways it is. Not only is it a device that was futuristic for its time, it was retro-futuristic for the fans sitting around that table. Besides that, sometimes fandom is simply fans sharing their passions with one another — just like fanzines could talk about jazz and sports cars and still be fannish.

A friend of mine that I know through local writing circles, Richard Crawford, came up to the table while Schirm was playing the records. It was nice to say hi to him at Worldcon, and I’m glad he was able to enjoy his beer with some music. We didn’t get to talk much, but that was okay. Richard’s a local friend and we’ll get together at some point.

Halfway through the music, I realized that I had one other errand that I needed to run. Another local friend of mine, Michael Gallowglas — who writes under the name M. Todd, and you should buy all his books — just became a wizard, err, a master of fine arts in the field of creative writing, and this was my first chance to congratulate him instead of waiting until November. (I know a lot of my local friends because of NaNoWriMo…) I wandered back over to the dealer’s room to Michael’s table and gave him the congratulations he so heartily deserved. I would have stayed there and talked to him a bit longer, but he was doing paying work, so I just told him I’d see him in November.

I have so many amazing and wonderful friends. Sometimes it takes a convention to see all of them and remind myself of that fact.

Not done yet! I think I can finish it up in a fifth part. See you there!

Series:
Worldcon (Part the First)
Worldcon (Part the Second)
Worldcon (Part the Third)
Worldcon (Part the Fourth)

Worldcon (Part the Third)

Worldcon is a big place.

Okay, so it’s not as big as a Dragoncon or a Comicon, but there’s still several thousand people rattling around a convention center. Sometimes they hole themselves up in rooms to listen to people talk about nearly everything under the sun, some things that orbit it, and yet even more exotic and cosmic ideas. Worldcon is amazing for the diversity of its programming. But when you get there, you’re handed a paperback-sized volume with all the programming for the convention. So how the heck are you supposed to find somebody in that warren of panels?

Well…they could post their location on Facebook.

This is how I caught up with my friend Doug Berry, a guy I’ve known since my alt.callahans/#callahans days. He posted a picture about how he was sharing a room with Joe Haldeman. I consulted my handy paperback program guide, found the room number for the panel in question. I headed for the land of panel space, being held in a different area than I had spent most of my time that day. Since I had not been to this part of the convention before, I wandered in confusion until I could orient myself to the programming space layout and then parked myself in front of the door of the room the panel was being held in.

Sure enough, Doug came out shortly after, and it was good to see him. We talked a little about his new job — captain of the crosswalk, helping students cross safely — before we worked our way out of the crush and Doug had to go cover the protest as a roving reporter for the con newsletter. Before he left, though, he gave me the room number to the panel his wife, Kirsten, was hiding in for the next hour.

Ah, the protest. I didn’t spend any time watching it because, to be honest, I thought it was a bit dumb. Most of it was instigated by a guy trying to make a name for himself in certain political circles, using his ban from Worldcon as a way to howl about how he was being oppressed by the system. Of course, the common smear when you can’t find anything else to use is to call your opponents pedophiles. I suppose that’s because it’s one of the last few groups in society that most people agree is bad — so using it is a way of calling your opponent pure evil. From there, it’s not hard to move to some very dark places for humanity.

Thus, it amused me when I heard later that the protest was basically a dud, with few people protesting or counter-protesting, and the cops standing around being bored as hell in the meantime. It seemed fitting — Worldcon protests ought to be about the lack of flying cars or a colony on Mars or something science fictional, not this mundane stuff. Thus, I’m glad I didn’t give it much of my time.

Instead, I got a turkey sandwich and headed back to the fanzine lounge to have lunch. It was also a way to kill a bit of time before Kirsten’s panel finished. Besides, food is important when you’re attending conventions — keeling over for lack of blood sugar doesn’t do much good for anybody. The turkey sandwich was okay — it was a little dry but acceptable for convention center food.

I’m glad I went to the fanzine lounge to eat lunch, though, because in the middle of my sandwich, I looked up and saw John Hertz. I love John, and he’s been sending me his fanzine in the mail lately. So I told him that I’d been getting his fanzines in the mail, and that, yes, I’d submitted a fanzine to the WOOF distribution this year. Then we had a talk about fanzine fandom, some of the issues I’d had with it, and then he told me that he admired my writing and would like to see more. More than anything, this meant a lot to me.

I haven’t written much lately. Some of it is simply that I haven’t had the mental space with everything going on in my life. Some of it is my own head playing with me — sometimes it’s hard to write when my depression is telling me that nobody cares and my anxiety is telling me that if it isn’t perfect, it’s crap. And some of it is my own lack of attention, both deliberate and non-deliberate.

I’ve done a lot of work in the last year to combat the depression and the anxiety. I still have both, and I probably will always have both. But I can work with them to lessen the effect they have on my life. Sometimes, despite all the techniques I’ve learned, it’s hard to believe that I’m actually good at things. Thus, it helps to hear from others outside of me, people I admire, to tell me that I’m not that bad at the things I do.

One of John’s quirks is that he’s not overly fond of this Internet thing. So he’s probably not going to see this until I convert it to fanzine form and get Rhyme & Paradox #2 out into the world. That said, John, your words meant a whole damn lot to me and were part of the reason this Worldcon was so damn special for me.

Geez, this was just one day! But it was a very eventful day, as you can probably tell. We’ll just have to save the unicorn farts for another post.

Series:
Worldcon (Part the First)
Worldcon (Part the Second)
Worldcon (Part the Third)
Worldcon (Part the Fourth)

Worldcon (Part the Second)

So there I was, in the fanzine lounge.

As I said before, I’ve made my home in fanzine fandom, although I’ll admit, I’ve had some differences with it over the last few years. That’s a long story that’s not worth hashing out here, but it does mean that’s where I tend to gravitate when I go to cons. I wanted to make sure that my WOOF zine made it into the contribution piles. I can’t recall if I did this before or after I went off to the business meeting. I think I did it before, which means I’m slightly out of order. Memory is a weird thing.

This year, a good friend of mine from past Bay Area conventions — Craig Glassner, aka Ranger Craig — was running the joint. He had a couple moments before he had to run off somewhere, which gave me a chance to say hello and let him know I hadn’t forgotten about an obligation I owed him. His response to me was enough to take another weight I’ve been carrying for years off my shoulders. I’m still not going to forget, but just those words were enough to give me one less thing to chew on during these hard times. (He also let me know that my WOOF contribution had been stashed with the others, so it was safe.)

Now a convention is not a convention without a turn around the dealer’s room. (I’d have also made a turn around the art show, but there’s only so much you can do when you’ve got a day and lots of people you’d like to see. Besides, I’d have been tempted to buy art, which I wouldn’t be on site to pick up.)

The dealer’s room at any convention is a treat. The dealer’s room at Worldcon is even more so. There’s the booksellers because Worldcon is, second to being a fan convention, a literary convention. There’s the costumers, because costuming is also a big part of Worldcon. There are the artists and the writers working their way up, taking a risk by self-promoting their own stuff. There’s fannish organizations selling books and magazines. Lastly, there’s the other random stuff that might just appeal to science fiction fans. It’s a rather impressive place — and one I’d normally make several turns through before deciding to buy anything. Today, I had only a bit of money left over from the gas/food/parking budget, so it was mostly just looking at what was out there.

At the two prior full Worldcons I’ve attended, I’ve drug double-digit numbers of books with me to be signed, and braved the autograph lines. I flew to the 2008 Denver Worldcon, packing a second duffle bag full of books with me — I’d just barely made the cut-off of being able to take two pieces of luggage with me for free. On the trip back home, the bag weighed 38 pounds, a distinct relief as I’d feared that I’d be trying to move items between bags in the airport to make weight limits. I drove in 2011, which meant there was no such worries about weight limits. This time, between only having one day at Worldcon and so much to do, I did not bring a load of books.

However, I had noticed in my Twitter feed that Borderlands Books would be hosting a signing by Ann Leckie at noon. I had two of the three books in the Ancillary series, so I figured I could pick up the third — it’s always nice to buy a book from a bookseller when you’re crashing their autograph session — and have Leckie sign my copies. As I was checking out, I noticed the paperback copy of Provenance was out as well, so I picked that up as well. Ann Leckie is a wonderfully nice person — I wished her luck in the Hugos, but we both agreed that N. K. Jemisen was probably going to pick up the three-peat, and that was going to be special.

Another thing I found in the dealer’s room was dice. When it comes to dice, I happen to be a bit like a dragon accumulating shiny treasure. I am proud that I managed to keep myself from buying only one set of dice, as the temptation was there, because there were so many that I wanted! But I managed to narrow my choices to two: psychedelic dice and muted psychedelic dice. After a quick debate with myself, I picked the latter. Now I just need to find a role playing game to use them.

Those were the only things I bought from the dealer’s room, and it was actually much less than the money I had spare after paying for the things that I needed. I also picked up a copy of Amazing — I’d been a small supporter of their Kickstarter earlier this year, and it was great to see them passing out copies of their magazines after a successful funding.

After that, it was due to the convenience of modern technology that I was able to find another friend I was looking for. But we’ve gone long again, and that’ll have to be saved for the next post.

Series:
Worldcon (Part the First)
Worldcon (Part the Second)
Worldcon (Part the Third)
Worldcon (Part the Fourth)

Black & White 5: Staving Away the Darkness

The thing I most like about Christmas is the lights. I like the symbolism. This is the time of year when the darkness presses most closely against us, swallowing up ever larger parts of the day and replacing it with chill night. The lights seem, to me, of being a way of shouting our defiance against the darkness. They say that even at the worst, we know the light will come again, that death will give way to life once again.

One of the things I’d like to do someday is to sit a solstice watch, starting from sundown and waiting all night, the longest night of the year, for the sun to return. It’s never worked out for me, but it’s something I’d like to do.

These particular lights have meaning for me. We’ve had the snowman for a very long time — I remember that he used to sit on the roof above the garage. He’s colorful, which is something that is missing from black and white. Then there’s Santa’s sleigh and the reindeer. And last, curled in front of the oak tree is the little Christmas trees.

I love coming home at night when the lights are all on. It feels like a beacon, calling me home.

et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt
And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:5)

(LJ/Dreamwidth readers: The crossposter I use for both these services does not attach the featured image, so you will have to click through the link at the bottom of the post to see the image.)

Prior Entries:
Black & White 1: My Buddy
Black & White 2: It’s What’s for Dinner
Black & White 3: The Platform
Black & White 4: Chairs

Help fix Jill’s car!

My sister has the worst luck.

She’s been ill and has been told by her doctors to minimize the time working and try to focus on getting better. But in October, something happened that has made her really upset. In the span of a few short weeks, the brakes went, the ball bearing decided to be on the verge of failing, the battery died and had to be replaced, the starter stopped, and then worst of all…the timing belt broke.

And when the timing belt broke, the car broke too.

My sister has next to no money. The cost to replace an engine is prohibitive, but the whole family needs that car running again. So we figured we’d see if the Internet wanted to help us out.

I know it’s a tight season, but anything you can donate will be a help.

You can find the donation widget in the sidebar (third down) or by going to https://www.youcaring.com/jillscar.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. And even if you can’t help, maybe you could pass it on.

The West is Big, y’all

There’s something Kevin Standlee​ said in a File 770 thread (it’s about halfway through the comment) that I wanted to do a little expounding on. Family and folks who know the area I grew up, bear with me, as none of this is going to be all that unusual to you. What I am about to quote came up in a discussion about whether Spokane was close to Seattle.

In my experience, a lot of people who haven’t actually lived on the US west coast think everything here is in the same place. Disneyland is just outside of San Francisco. You can see the Space Needle from Portland. A few minutes you can reach on neuropathyhelp.co and obviously everything in the same state is within a few miles’ of everything else.

Kevin knows what he’s talking about — he and I grew up in the same general geographic area, although that area is about 150 miles in diameter around my hometown. My hometown is a small Western city that has the distinction of being one of six control cities on Interstate 5 (the other five are all major cities you’ve probably heard of).

From my hometown, it is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to the nearest state university. The next one is about two hours fifteen minutes. The other state university in our third of the state is about three hours away over a mountain pass. And my alma mater, in a major metro region that holds most of the sports teams we root for in my little city, is about three hours away, if you’re pushing it and not stopping.

And we’re big enough to be a control city — that’s the one the signs point to as the next destination — on the major north/south artery of the West Coast.

A couple other thoughts. I live in Sacramento now. A friend and I once drove from Portland to Sacto, getting out of the car once. It took us eight hours. Another time, I had to drive to pick up somebody in Los Angeles — the Hollywood area, to be precise. Mom and I left Sacto at 4:30 AM. We stopped for gas once and breakfast once, but we still didn’t make it to his place until 11:30 AM.

One last thought. California numbers its freeway exits by miles travelled, starting with 1 at the southern end for N/S roads and the western end for E/W roads.

The actual little town I grew up in which had the security services from ADT, just south of the minor city I describe here, is exits 667 and 668 on Interstate 5. At that point, there’s still another hundred odd miles to the Oregon border.

The West Coast is big, y’all.

The latest entries in the WTF serving size competition

So I’ve been trying to be more interested in nutrition labels to get a better idea of what calorie counts and other stuff are in my food. This has now become a game, in which I attempt to find the most egregious and/or crazy entries on the nutritional label.

Today brings us two entries in the WTF serving size competition:

1) Apparently, a serving size of Tic Tacs is one Tic Tac, with the extremely precise value of 1.9 calories per serving. (Sorry the picture’s kinda blurry, was trying to take it fast.)

2) I’d like you to try and eat just one-third of a muffin at once. (The whole muffin is 600 calories. OMG.)
Muffin nutritionPhoto by retstak

I can’t be this old

image

A display in the Walmart near the house.

My sister said, “I don’t remember the first one.”

I said, “I’m sorry, Mario, but our princess is in another castle.”

chicky noodle

On cold rainy days like today, I make soup or stew. My favorite to make is chicken noodle, mostly because it’s dead simple. It goes like this — cut carrots, celery, and chicken into bite sized pieces. Add a bit of thyme, some garlic powder, and a bit of lemon pepper. Cover in chicken broth, boil approximately an hour to an hour and a half (until chicken is tender), dump egg noodles in, cook until egg noodles are soft.

Yummy, filling, and good. It’s one of my favorites.

a light in the darkness

Candles at church, by me

I’ve been doing a lot of wheelspinning lately as I try to figure out something. I haven’t figured out much in the way of conclusions because I haven’t had the time to pursue threads all the way out, but there is one thing that comes to mind.

Ignore all that ‘must co-opt pagan holiday’ stuff that caused the birth of Jesus to be moved to the bleak midwinter as opposed to the more logical late spring that all the trappings of the story hint at, and look at it from a different perspective. As a storyteller, there is no better time of the year. The world is at its darkest in the days around the solstice, so much so that we light our homes with blazing electric lights to chase the darkness away. And metaphorically, isn’t that what the Christchild story is? Bringing light to a dark world?

The story demands the change.

Anyway, that’s one of the threads I’m still trying to follow to its conclusion; I may or may not continue to blog about it.

But for those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas! And if you don’t, may you have a good day today as well.
Don’t let clogged drains stress you, call Sydney emergency plumbing today.

embrace the suck

Success, by Kevin Thoule as found on Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

So I got whacked between the eyes with an epiphany today.

It started yesterday, actually, but it didn’t quite completely come clear until today. I was reading a book on probability and how people are notoriously bad at it (The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow) and his last chapter is a bit about taking risks and why it’s sometimes important to do so — and one of the things he said was, yeah, random chance means you’re going to end up with a lot of failure, but just as streaks happen when you flip a coin, there’s always the random chance you’re going to succeed. If you don’t take the risks, you minimize your chance of failure, but you minimize your chance to succeed as well.

But it didn’t really hit me between the eyes until I was writing an email that I’ll send out to the region tomorrow. And in it, I was talking about the point of NaNoWriMo — it’s not so much about writing a novel as it is about throwing caution to the wind and doing something crazy. It’s about allowing yourself the right to suck and the right to fail, because both are hard. But if we fear failure, how can we find success? If we don’t do something because we’ll suck, how can we transcend to awesomeness?

It is that simple: in failure, we find success. In sucking, we lay the ground for becoming awesome.

I got a piece of this last Sunday when I went to the Night of Writing Dangerously. I said it myself in the post I wrote: I thought to myself that I was going to fail at reaching fifty thousand words that night. And I was going to feel miserable. But then I embraced the fear, embraced the suck, shoved the worry to the back of my mind. And what happened? I got my 50k and I rang that bell and it WAS AWESOME.

So, I’m going to stick my neck out a bit more. I have a final and a project due a week from Tuesday, and I’m going to use the time beyond that to (a) update my resume and start throwing it at jobs, (b) pick up a bit of C# with the goal of being able to contribute (even minimally) to projects at work by 1 Feb, and (c) get that fanzine together that I’ve been talking about.

Now it’s your turn: Tell me what you plan to do to embrace the suck and do something scary.

who’ll be first against the wall when the revolution comes?

The Big Money, photo taken by David D. Muir // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I’m pretty angry over what went down at my bank today. You see, I got a WaMu account back about four years ago, and I was pretty happy with them. They weren’t perfect, but there was something friendly about them and they made a point of mostly staying out of the way between me and my money, which I really appreciated.

But of course, WaMu was stupid during the whole real estate bubble, and when things got ugly, it collapsed and was bought up by JP Morgan Chase. And over the past year I’ve been watching the transition, and every bit of it has just seemed like the bank’s gotten colder and unfriendlier. To begin with, today was the first time I’d walked into my branch since the transition. WaMu used to have this open floorplan — the tellers had podiums in the middle of the room, and the banking operations were scattered around the edges. When I first walked into the bank today, they’d placed the tellers in a more traditional counter and gave the banking operations what appeared to be cubicles. Granted, I was already predisposed to disliking them, but the sterile feel just really bugged me. But okay, I can deal with it.

So I bring my checks up to the counter. Now every other time I’ve done this, they said “Sure, no problem, we can cash those.” Today, I get informed that they can cash the Chase check, but the Wells Fargo one? Nope, it’s going to have to take a day to clear; if I’d had the amount of the check in the account, they’d be able to give me the money, but it’s just not possible. Of course, with today being the day before Thanksgiving, what they really mean is that I won’t have that money until Friday. When did this change? I asked. Last month, I was told. Nnnnnnn. You might try Wells Fargo, they said, but they might charge you a fee.

Okay, I said, just out of curiosity, what happens if I close the account with you and then bring in a Chase check to be cashed? “Oh, we charge a $6 fee for that privilege.” Double you tee effing eff? SIX BUCKS? To cash a check written on your bank?

There’s a reason there’s a nasty mood involving bankers in this country, and it’s right there in the nickle and dime fees they throw at you. If I bring in a check written on your bank, WHETHER I HAVE AN ACCOUNT THERE OR NOT, you should cash it cheerfully and promptly, without demanding money from me for the privilege. If you have a problem, it’s your account holder that wrote the check, generally I’d assume you know where to find them.

If I have a working relationship with your bank, and I bring in a check from another bank, again, one would think you should cash that cheerfully and promptly too, although I can understand that a bit better. (Although I don’t understand why WaMu didn’t care and Chase is nasty about the policy.) But still, in this day and age of electronic funds transfer, I don’t know why things can’t go faster. :P

But seriously, it’s the tickytack fees and the appearance of living high on the hog when the rest of the country suffers from something you caused — yeah, it’s no fragging wonder bankers aren’t exactly the most popular of people right about now. And God help them if the lid gets blown of the pot of simmering resentment.

But no, consider this a straight recommendation that, if you have a choice, AVOID CHASE. They’re just….nnnnnnrgh. (Actually, at this point, I’d be avoiding any of the monolithic chains — Chase, BofA, Wells Fargo, Citi — as it just seems there’s too much of a potential for them to be assholes in the name of greed.)

Anyway, that ends this rant.

[EDIT: So at lunch, I walked the other check over to the Wells Fargo across the street, and they not only happily cashed it for me despite my not having an account (and they only asked me twice if I wanted to open an account there), but they didn’t charge me anything. So yeah, maybe Wells Fargo isn’t quite as evil. I still hate Chase, though.]

another year, another rotation around the sun…

Today will be the 112th replaying of the Big Game. I’m hoping for an Axe for my birthday, but Cal has a 4-7-1 record against Stanford on November 21, and Stanford’s won the last three on that day. Also, Stanford’s in the Rose Bowl hunt, and all Cal can do is play spoiler. I can only hope it’s enough.

The last time I wanted an Axe for my birthday, Stanford won 10-3 when I was sure Cal would win that game. I’ve cried at very few football games, but I distinctly remember crying at that one. I’m attempting to temper my expectations this time — Stanford will probably win, but that won’t stop me from rooting for my Bears and hoping for the upset.

Anyway, for those of you who made it through my Big Game neepery, today is indeed the completion of my thirty-first rotation around the sun. In the common parlance, we call this a “birthday” and this year, it shall be prime. (Remember, we number completions when they’ve finished!)

There was cake at the office yesterday, there will be cake at a party tonight, and then Sunday is the Night of Writing Dangerously, which is what I wanted to do for my birthday when I realized Big Game was out.

And if I’ve worked it out right, this will post at precisely the time I was born.

Have an excellent day, everybody.

photo by Jessica N. Diamond on flickr

gray

I’m sitting here at the computer trying to figure out something to tell you all. I figure I ought to post in the middle of the day because it might get more comments, but that’ll be for another time. Tonight, it nears midnight, and I have a deadline.

The biggest thing I want to talk about, I’ve promised somebody I would wait until the right time, and the right time is not now. It will take patience, and some waiting. Waiting is.

Got my H1N1 flu shot today. One less worry. Also dropped a class. Also, one less worry.

Things have gotten a bit better since the implosion that was earlier this month, but I still get shaky every time I look at my precarious financial situation. I guess I ought to be happy I have a job, even if it’s only part-time and doesn’t pay overly well. But it’s hard to reconcile that with sitting down with budget numbers and wondering just where you’re going to come up with spare money for things like regular maintenance of the car and clothing and replacing the laptop and saving to move out. Add in the really stupid mistake, and yeah…it’s no wonder I end up in a minor panic when I look at my finances.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that I have enough of a job to mostly afford my bills and wonderful and outstanding parents, but … as the clock ticks down to the thirty-first rotation around the sun, I can’t help but think that it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Halfway Point

I finished my 11k challenge for the weekend, and now have somewhere just north of 35,000 words. I’m shooting to hit 50 next Sunday night, but I’m not entirely sure 15k in 7 days is entirely realistic. So we’ll leave that alone other than to open the betting pool for when I’m going to hit 50,000 words.

In the challenge to write a blog post every day, I’m on track (other than moving the one I posted to LJ over to the blog because my server was down for maintenance). The problem is that my life is boring and I’m stuck for things to write about.

So hey, if you’re reading this, say hey and give me some ideas for what you want to hear me say. I need help here.

But the news is, despite a bit of a rough start, the month’s on task. Now to just see if I can get some focus on my GIS project.