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This was the weekend of failing at productivity. I stayed up til midnight on Saturday, and I can't even use the excuse that I was shoveling: I was reading Dark Lord of Derkholme.

Oh well, at least I got some decent ringing in on Sunday?

[All of the above replaces a much longer and more eloquent post that the computer ate yesterday, grr. ]

Meantime, I've been doing physical therapy, and my knee continues to improve. Still swollen, but it feels like I *could* run on it--though it's doubtful whether that would be a good idea. My PT people say they're going to try modifying my running stride.
If I ever see them again, that is. That, I think, is going to depend on whether my insurance is gonna pay for any of this. [Right, I need to call some point.]
I'm taking the next two sessions off, anyway, because I'm going to be at Arisia. Yay!
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For the roughly two of you who weren't there, I am back from Readercon. I am rather tired, but I had a good con.

I put in to take tomorrow off some while back, during a brief moment when I was under the mistaken impression that the con ended on Monday. (Turns out that's Arisia.) I am going to use it to recover, instead. And perhaps update this in more detail.

Oh, and catch up on what's been going on in these parts of the blogosphere, since I haven't really been online since...Wednesday. Maybe Thursday. Anyway, Sovay, your posts about the Cape look wonderful, but right now I'm going to gracefully fall over.
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Posting from Readercon. I've mostly been doing a bunch of volunteering, which I always find weirdly enjoyable. (I have the sort of Wanting To Be Told He's A Good Dog complex, I think.)
The fact that there are free memberships and stuff helps, of course...

Highlights so far have included the (apparently notable) Max Gladstone in pleather pants at the 80s dance, Brimstone Rhine in concert, and going to lots of panels by friends. And a lot of fun hanging out with my fellow geeks.

But we've still got a lot of Con to go...
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Still up, waiting for the Thanksgiving Zwiebelkuchen to cook. I guess it isn't that late, but my brain's pretty much dead.

- NOT doing anything else cranberry-related for tomorrow.* One sauce is enough, and it is happy in its jar.

- I did get the application for the Database Company That Shall Not Be Named done. Along with like three other job applications.
Possibly the whole thing about introverts responding more productively to caffeine in the afternoons is true.

- So as you will have gathered, I spent the evening cooking. (And attempting to translate a formal invitation from the Icelandic, but that's beside the point.)

- Ursulav's post about Whisper Networks and their problems is hella depressing. And reminds me all too much of...well, that one Readercon.**
It is somehow - irrationally - heartening that her resident Angry Bald Man has now been inducted into the Dorsai, who...well, sometimes, hopefully, help deal with these things.

- Happier fact: it is snowing. (Though shoveling the resulting slop earlier was...not the greatest. Nor was driving through it. OTOH, I was doing both these things 'cause I got to put my car in the driveway, so I don't have to worry about parking bans, snowploughs, or anything related.

There is probably more that I could say, but instead I am going to go to bed--at least temporarily.

* Well, unless I wake up hyper-energetic tomorrow.
** Actually, BOTH Readercons I went to featured the sort of "established people in the fandom being off beyond sketchy" problem that Whisper Networks attempt to deal with. In retrospect, bringing the dagger that one time was kinda dumb, because threatening someone with even a blunt dagger would have been a really really bad way to deal with that sort of situation...but when somebody I know hits the panic button, I sortof tend to go all-out. Anyway, the dagger merely got used to pry open a durian, so it was all good.
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In the end, there wasn't much goin' on on the job front yesterday, so I went to Boston after all for the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours concert. (I used the excuse that I could network with people to search for jobs. Remarkably, this actually did happen.)
Technically, it was still a bad idea, since not only did I lose my hat, but some combination of factors (picking up Amal's stomach bug, lack of sleep, throwing my meal schedule off-kilter, too much soda, and/or dehydration) knocked me out once I got home, making me feel like poop on toast and forcing me to cancel an appointment. (A nap, and some soup, seem to be making at least some headway toward fixing this.) Oh, and of course I didn't get any job applicating done.

I am still glad I went.

The concert: [personal profile] teenybuffalo and a friend opened, with songs about dead people. They were followed up by the "celtic Elvis", with songs about sex, dangerous women, spells, and combinations thereof. The (breathe) Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours did songs and poems and stories about all of these, plus some from their latest project: the folk songs of miners descended from people abducted by aliens in the 19th c.
(Unfortunately, the one about the Catholic with the, uh, itch wound up not making the program; but I'd gotten to hear it in advance.)

The real fun, though, was seeing friends (lj user=teenybuffalo> and [personal profile] nineweaving chief among them, and of course to meet the band, and hang out discussing Weird $#!7 We Have Experienced, webcomics, and...geeze, we must have discussed something more substantial than that.
Anyway, fun.
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- Being on endless bus rides is, I think, a distinctive American experience. I feel like I'm in On the Road.
That does not mean it's pleasant.

- I am never doing this again. I may consider taking a bus partway to Kazoo in the future...but I'm gonna make DAMN sure I get a ride at least from Buffalo. The bit between there and Kazoo takes an irritatingly long amount of time. Especially since you are dependent on the ONE bus that seems to go between Detroit and Kalamazoo per day.

- Cities: Buffalo seems somehow cheerful and pleasantly thriving. I always forget how large the second-tier cities of upstate NY and the Midwest are.
Detroit, by contrast, is deeply surreal. It looks vaguely like a film set of itself, set in a world where someone set off a neutron bomb in the place: all these buildings, but scarcely any people OR cars.

- Always take a taxi to the station for these occasions. The parking is NOT free, so you'll about make your cab fare back in what you'd've paid for parking. Also, if you don't fate will ensure that if you take Greyhound out you'll come back by train or Concord Coach, and their respective terminals are nearly a mile apart...

- Spending 30 hours on buses will make you hone fatalism to a fine art.
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OK. Kalamazoo's over. Uh, some highlights:

Squigamunk, I think you might appreciate this:

It was even cooler in person.

Straussmonster, I saw Scott H. He's now come over to the dark side, and also become a Communist. really. He also reports that having a job is actually forcing him to be semi-respectable: "It's terrifying!" So is the thought that my colleagues now have their own graduate students.
Oh, and of course there was lots o' free wine. (Although the guy who used to do mead tastings has retired from same, alas.)

I went to some panels. The ones that stick in my head were the ones on medieval textiles, and the demonstration of longsword fighting (slowed down so one could follow what was happening, and with discussion of the two 15th-c. manuals). Very cool. EVen cooler: Mini knife-fighting tutorial at the end of the session! [Yes, in my heart I'm really a SCA geek in some respects...]
Oh, and I think I gave a talk in there somewhere. To only about six people, but one of them said it was at least exciting.

And I hung out with some cool people. Unfortunately, none of them was both going in the right direction and had space in their car,* so I'm going to be getting on a bus again in a couple of hours...

* not surprising, inasmuch as most people are having to cram vast numbers of newly-purchased books into their cars, as well.
choco_frosh: Made with the old "Mad Men yourself" image generator (mad men)
Saturday (morning, far too early): Drove down to Manchester for child impact seminar. Drove back, passing Old Orchard Beach.

Saturday (evening, late): [profile] maweisse and husband are visiting OOB. They drive up to Portland for drinks. Fun evening, although given that I should be writing my conference paper and doing job applications, this means Social Life is kicking Common Sense's arse again.

Sunday: Skived off on evening service in favor of driving down to Boston for Tea chez [personal profile] sigerson. I made them a Man-Portable Fusion Pie. Saw many people, notably Sovay, whom I have not seen in far too long. Put up for the night by the ever-awesome T. Edwards.
The NH-Maine section of I-95 is getting very familiar...

Today: Have lunch with Grandparents, drive home.

Wednesday (hopefully) or tomorrow (if not: eep!) Drive all the way to #$%& Kalamazoo. Hopefully I can find someone to carpool with in the next 24 hours...while also dealing with oDesk jobs, AND throwing a 12-page conference paper together!

Addendum: Riiiggght, I really DO need to find someone to carpool with. I am not actually capable of driving for sixteen straight hours. (Heck, I'm not sure I'm capable of driving for six.)
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Peter's here for a week, while his mother's at clergy camp. This is a slight problem because
1) About the only time I can, say, apply for jobs is right about now, viz., between 8 and 10 pm while wicked tiyahd.

2) It is finally raining. This plays hell with Findin' Stuff for Peter to Do (which otherwise defaults to Spend hours on the beach)...but we definitely do need it. I've never SEEN the Bearcamp River as low as it was on the way up to Plymouth.

3) It has just occured to me that ideally, I should get my paper for Kalamazoo started this week.* 'Cause after this week I'm going to be in Boston for a couple of days and/or dating (well, at least possibly going out for a drink and explaining why dating me might be a horrible idea to) Sexy Librarian Chick; and a week after that I'm going to be en route to Michigan. eep.
Sadly, my notes on Ritter Bilgeri von Heudorff are buried in a box that I have to hope is by my bed, and I don't want to wake Peter right now...

* Admittedly, people have started papers for Kazoo while on the plane before this. And I think "people" includes "my mother", so...
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Warning: do not read the following if you are easily offended...

Wednesday )
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Wednesday, 8 March: 11:30 AM
Those of us who were early risers were in a big nineteenth-century room in the Rotes Rathaus (the city hall, whose name we'd just been told twice had nothing to do with the city's current governing coalition). We´d just had a panel discussion on "International perspectives", from Fulbrighters who´d been flown in from other parts of Europe, on what their experiences had been. And now we got the Mayor, who gave us what was actually a pretty cool talk on the current state of Berlin, including its problems (integration of non-Germans, education policy, and of course rebuilding--construction on the Brandenburg Gate is going to stop for the world cup, but then they´ll be putting the scaffolding back up!) And of economic problems since it had stopped being heavily subsidized by both halves of Germany. Since this remains a problem (despite, as she was keen to point out, progress by her government), she jokingly told us that we'd better spend some money before we left.
I, in fact, had already done so. Like an idiot, I'd brought my computer but not my digital camera's download cord, so my camera was out of memory from all the pictures I'd taken--it had been an eventful couple of days. So I'd gone out and bought a cheep-@$$ memory card. But that was on Monday. Like I said, it had been an eventful couple of days. I'll tell the story homerikos: Read more... )
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Sunday, 5 January: 1:40 PM
The Park Inn Hotel is a late soviet-era building (now privatized and equipped with a mini casino), located on Alexanderplatz near the center of what used to be East Berlin. Alexanderplatz was apparently some major center, and still has some actually rather nice 1960s murals on one of the nearby buildings. At the moment, though, it’s mostly a big construction pit. So pretty much typical for Berlin on both counts. I arrived by airport bus, disheveled and somewhat later than I’d planned, but still before anything officially started...Read more... )


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