I feel like I’ve been going about 100mph for the last month and a half. This certainly isn’t a complaint, as I’ve been having an absolutely wonderful time going places and seeing people, but I’m very glad to be in the middle of a recovering week in Chicago.
I love traveling and I always have. I think there is a little bit of personal magic in traveling. Yes, I know how corny that sounds. You get to learn more about yourself when you travel. How much of you is you and how much is your situation or your location? And of course, this things that are dear to you become immediately apparent. For instance, it isn’t my computer that I need, but more the ability to easily communicate with my friends around the world, and the ability to create. Of course, those things pretty much require a computer, but details and all…
I’ll admit that while traveling is awesome, being away from Will isn’t all that great. We haven’t spent this much time apart since before we were dating and it sucks. The major difference in the time zones wasn’t something we could really have prepared for. Our daily schedules have very little overlap, and we’re only awake at the same time for about nine hours. It’s more like having a long distance co-worker than anything else.
I’m also missing New York, which I wasn’t expecting at all. Going back to the city brought great relief even though not having an apartment of my own was weird. Not having a home base is weird, in general. I had gotten used to the pace of the city even if I wasn’t going as fast as everyone around me. Now every place I go – except conventions – seems a little slow. Everything and everyone is so much closer, there. I used to hate being packed so closely, but now I feel lonely when I’m in the big empty house that I’m staying in. And how could you not love the convenience? Having three Duane Reades on our street was pretty nice. Especially since one looked sorta like a gutted, gold cathedral.
I’m not nearly as prepared as I should be for living in Japan. I’ve been studying one of the read and point books that the wife of another liaison lent me, but until recently that had been it. Then the other night the friends I’m staying with brought me to get sushi.
Previously I hadn’t been a fan of sushi. Until Wednesday, I had only ever had spectacularly bad rolls. I got quite the education on different types of sushi and how the different fish taste that I think will be enormously helpful for day to day life. I enjoyed most of what was ordered, but did actually have issues with the huge proportions which seemed to be specific to the place we were at. The texture of raw fish doesn’t actually bother me, but too much of anything is a bad thing.
In five days, I’ll be off to London for the week. Meetings with friends about Loncon and doing a bit of obligatory sight-seeing. If you’d like to live somewhat vicariously, email me about things that you’d like me to go check out. I’ve started a list of things to do, but more ideas will I think, make things better.
I’m back in NYC for a few days before I head back on the road and I feel very odd about being here.
I’m staying with my in-laws, and while I love spending time with them, it’s very odd to not be heading back to my old place after dinner with them. It’s not like I haven’t stayed at their place before while living in NYC, but for this to be my home base…it’s just a little off.
I’ve been having late second thoughts about all my traveling. It’s so much fun, but it’s so damn exhausting. I’m running pretty ragged after my fabulous weekend in Chicago and I’m wondering/worrying if I should try and keep this schedule up, but if I don’t what will I do with my time? Keeping busy and moving around helps me avoid the fact that Will is living on a continent that I’ve never even been to. If I stop, I will find a squishy bed to hole up in and not get out of it until Will gets back. This is pathetic. I know it is. But it’s also the truth.
Jesus, it’s a good thing that I left the half case of Thin Mints in Chicago.
I had a fantastic time at Arisia 2014. This was the second time I attended and even though this year I lacked Will, I also lacked classes which meant that I had a lot more time to focus on the people.
I took the bus to Boston on Wednesday which gave me a day to recover from moving before the crazy con stuff started and after dealing with all of the shit that the movers pulled, I was very glad to have added the travel padding. I spent the night relaxing and writing full on rage emails to our moving coordinator. Sometime early in the morning a friend, who was the hotel liaison, called to let me know there was an excursion to the hot tub planned because she had the keys to the castle and was heading down with some friends. This was approximately when I discovered that I had apparently shipped the bottoms of my swimsuit to Japan. Substitutions we’re made, good conversation was had, and the the hot tub was enjoyed.
Thursday was wonderfully slow, for some definitions of slow. I started the morning with an epic shopping run with Deb and then spent the rest if the day learning how to work things at the InnKeeper desk. Hotel work wasn’t something that I’d ever really gotten into before, I’d mostly stayed in Hospitality and Ops, and it while I’m not sad that I didn’t get into it before, I’m really glad that Nchanter brought me on board. It was so much fun and now I know what I’ll be throwing myself at once I finally pull myself away from Social Media.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are a blur of party running and table sitting. A good blur, mind you, the dessert teem was a hit, surprise surprise. Doing those things, which I don’t usually do, forced me to talk to a lot of people that I would have hidden from otherwise. Staff is my safety zone for my shyness which is why I know so many con runner and also why I work in so many damn cons. But fear of failure is a powerful motivator, and it was the push I needed to step out of my shell.
I took an extra day after the con to recover before attempting to move in to the Twin Cities, and while that turned out to be problematic for weather reasons, having an extra night in my giant pillow fort (king sized bed + seven pillows) was ideal.
I will refrain from rehashing the travel issues I had, and only say that I will never fly anything other than Delta ever again. If you’re really interested in the story you can head to my Facebook account and read about them with some very colorful language.
Arisia was wonderful and I’m very much looking forward to heading back next year.
I am always a little bit in awe of my friend, John.
He is a writer, and he manages to post to his blog every single day. There are exceptions to this when he is traveling and taking a break from the internet, but for the most part, I get a notification every day from WordPress in my inbox letting me know that he has some thoughts that he’s dropped on the internet.
I know that this is something that John has spent years doing, and that because he is a writer it is something that he should be doing to hone his craft, but I always feel like a bit of a failure when I can’t string enough words together to make a post about where I’ve been and where I’m going. It’s not that I don’t want to share, I post all the time on FB and Twitter, but I always feel that I have an obligation to put something better together for WordPress. Deeper thoughts. Things that will contribute to the conversation of society. When I am stuck in this cycle of self-doubt, I of course never manage to remember that one of the things that John is famous for is taping bacon to his cat and taking pictures of it.
It’s easy to waste words on social media. Why is a blog so sacred? I’m sure the lack of privacy is a part of it. I could lock down certain posts, but then why bother to type them? Why not keep them in the bound journal that I keep with me. It’s not like I have nothing to write about, either. I’m on the second leg of my two and a half month long bounce around the country.
I think one of the most frustrating parts of this struggle is that I don’t know where this goal comes from. I have no desire to be a writer, though I have occasionally daydreamed about winning a Hugo. There is no story that I feel the need to tell, just guilt when another day passes without a post. Writing helps keeps the mind sharp, but so does reading and being creative in other ways and it’s not like I’m skipping out on that.
I will say, that writing here helps me explore my thoughts, and that is always a good thing. I very rarely start with something specific to say, just a nebulous thought that I want to hammer out and writing seems like the best way to do that when Will isn’t around to talk to. Writing this post has helped me trace some of these feelings to my desire to be good at everything, so I’ll always be needed and always have a place. The fear of being useless or forgotten manifests in odd ways.
But my fingers are getting tired* and there is a consuite full of friends waiting for me. I think chatting with them will help much more with my fears than sitting alone in a semi-dark hotel room wondering what the internet will think of my word choice.
*Another reason I could never be a writer, my hands cramp up waaaaay to quickly for me to have a word count of any substance to hit.
The first leg and a half of my insane traveling schedule has not gone to plan. I’m not much worse for wear after all has been said and done, but I am going to work very hard to not piss off the travel ghods again in the future. To that end, and because I’m a little bit of an idiot, I’ve added three more conventions to my schedule. Boskone in February, and Lunacon and Anime Boston in March. Hopefully all of this craziness keeps me from losing any more of my mind while I’m in Japan not hitting the cons that I usually do.
Arisia, unsurprisingly, was amazing. It was great to hangout with friends that I already have, and working the InnKeeper desk helped me make a few more. Including a new friend that pointed out that while fandom might be dead in Manhattan, it certainly isn’t in Brooklyn. Sitting the DC17 table was also good for getting me out of my shell (I know a few of you are still unconvinced that such a shell exists) because you can’t effectively sit a bid table without reaching out to people that you don’t know and talking to them about the bid. I’d rather be a bit uncomfortable than not to my job. The bid dessert parties that we threw also seemed very successful, but I think in the future, two nights of party throwing in a row will be my limit. I was quite done with people come Monday morning.
Getting out of Boston is an adventure that deserves it’s own paragraph. I must first thank profusely Aurora Celeste for getting me to the airport the first time, and Deb Geisler who came and got me from the airport (once it was clear that I was going nowhere for the night due to a delightful winter storm), fed me delicious things, provided great conversation, a warm and wonderful place to sleep, and then a ride back to the airport the next day. Those two ladies are gems, and you should tell them so whenever you see them. If you are a friend on mine on Facebook, you can read about the delays in much more detail with much more questionable language. If not, well, you’ll have to settle for the knowledge that I’m never going to fly anything but Delta again.
I now find myself in Minnesota for the next week wondering why I didn’t just stay in Boston or better yet, escape to Cabo. It’s absolutely freezing here, and family is the only thing that could make these temperatures worth it. I’ll be heading to Supercon this coming weekend which is a relaxacon that I haven’t been to before. I’m looking forward to seeing what that is like and seeing my best friend Jesi and her husband who are driving up.
For now, back to napping. I require a lot more sleep than I used to which is annoying, but also great because you know, warm fuzzy sleep.
Packing, no, sorting goes well. My closet has been divided into three piles. Required during travel, shipping to Will, or Goodwill. This was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Champagne and girl friends were not required.
Which is good, because I don’t have both of those things here, anyways. Guess who cleaned out the neverending stock of unused alcohol that we had this morning? I am more than slightly pleased with myself about this and allowed myself a short celebration at Chipotle. Of course, I can’t actually eat the burritos anymore, but their guac is fair game, and what a wonderful game it is.
I have once again run out of water. Notable, because a month ago, I would have been thinking about the fact that I had run out of Coke. I have almost completely eliminated Coke from my daily diet. Not just Coke, but any soda. I still have one occasionally when Will and I go to a restaurant, but they are now a special occasion treat for me. So many of the things that I’ve been used to eating over the years have been cut from my diet due to all of the unknown crappiness that I’ve decided to make this one of the things that I can enjoy every once in a while. It’s been amazingly helpful in terms of weight loss. I haven’t been directly attempting to lose weight, but I can now fit into my skinny jeans (not that they are coming with my on my grand adventures) and that means a lot more to me than fluctuating numbers. I can move my body in ways that I haven’t been able to for longer than I’d like and that’s an incredibly freeing feeling.
I am endless thrilled with having Julie here for the week. She is unapologetically herself and that’s so wonderful to be around. It’s a hard balance to find. Am I being true to myself vs am I being politically correct enough for my environment. I don’t mean she’s a dick, because that’s never cool (and I imagine it’s not a happy self to have) , but she says what she thinks, wears what she wants and doesn’t hold back to make others feel better. Nor does she get hung up on things when others express their disapproval. She listens, decides if she’s going to do anything about it, and then moves on. I don’t know if it’s a me or everyone thing, but I find that balance hard to find and maintain. It’s nice to have someone around where I can let my hair down around that isn’t Will. Not that I don’t love and appreciate that side of our relationship, but it’s nicer to have multiple people around that I can do that with. There are a couple more on the list, but none of them are visiting me at the moment, though I’ll be seeing them in my travels soon.
Back to the neverending task of moving. My original plan was to see as many museums this week, but I’ve migrated to getting as much done on the apartment during the day and spending as little time online as possible. Quite a shift. Quite necessary.
Will left for Japan this morning. At 8:30am (EST) his car showed up, his driver helped him drop his giant suitcases in the back, and off he went.
I admit, I was a little worried about how sad I would or would not be after he left. Will and I have played the long distance game before and it sucked. And of course, no newlywed wants to split up only a few months in. Thankfully, I’ve got an intense travel schedule that will keep me on my toes and allow me to see almost everyone that I want to see before I start my adventure in Japan. I’m also really grateful that I’ll have the two flights home to use. Convergence and Detcon will allow me to see pretty me to see two-thirds of the people that I’ll be missing the most, and then Worldcon will allow me to see the rest. Smofcon at the end of the year will give me the highest concentration of friends that I’ll be missing, so all in all not a bad year planned out.
I’m digging deeper and deeper into research about the area we’ll be living in and creating a long list of things to see and document in one way or the other. I’m exciting about planning a climb up Mt. Fugi. I didn’t think that climbing a mountain would be in my plans during college, but I’m happy to add it and actually get the chance to cross it off of my To Do list. To be fair, living in a foreign country wasn’t on that list, either. I’m tremendously excited about this entire opportunity.
It’s a grey day in NYC today. It’s hard to believe that I only have seven days left in this magnificent city. I’ve got a short trip to North Carolina this weekend and then I’ll be packed and ready to go. If Will’s firm wasn’t paying for movers and packers, I don’t know what I’d do. Well, whatever it would be, there would be a lot less of it. I’m going to hit as many museums this week as humanly possible. Scratch that, enjoyably possible. I always hated running ragged during trips as a kid. Wen I visit somewhere, I want to enjoy the place. Not make myself miserable trying to pack every little bit in.
One of my fellow interns from the summer is crashing with me this week, and I have no doubt that she’s helping me keep the blues away. Julie is always full of life, and I’ll be staying with her for a while in Chicago in February.
And now, back to bed for some reading. This is probably my last lazy Sunday in months, and I’m going to enjoy it.
I changed my subscription to the SmofList this morning. I will no longer be getting the emails. It’s just not worth it anymore.
My mother had me added to the list several years ago. When I joined, I was excited. Finally, a spot at the ‘grown up’ table. The chance to join conversations on how to make fandom and conventions better. To learn from great people with more experience that I’d looked up to for years.
The List at present is much different than the list that I joined. Since I’ve only been on the list for several years, I asked a friend if they’d ever seen it this bad. They said that they had seen the list this hot before, and that it’s gotten hotter for longer before, but they weren’t sure that it had ever stayed this hot for this long. There are no more productive conversations. There are endless arguments and conversations that are derailed by people trying to make a light joke to make things easier. Very few people are friendly, and it feels like everyone (not just new members) feel like they are under attack. I wanted a channel to continue communication that started in the consuite, and in the bridge, and The List is no longer that.
This weekend I went to Smofcon and I found out that one of the people that I wanted to engage with no longer even reads The List because its so toxic. That was at once so, relieving and so disappointing. I’ve been sticking around this shitty place where this person isn’t even going anymore?! But on the other hand I can finally leave!
Deleting all of the unread threads in my inbox was magical. It felt just as good as knowing I’d done a good thing for fandom.
I’m looking forward to spending more time actually doing things, than talking and arguing in circles about them.
I had a fabulous time in Toronto. Utterly fabulous. The conversations were breathtaking. You could suggest that I’m exaggerating, but I’d have to disagree. The level of conversation that I experienced this weekend was nothing short of amazing.
That being said, I am really glad to be back in New York.
I may not be crazy about loving here, but I missed Will a lot and one of my favorite travel experiences is flying up Manhattan and seeing the blinking amber jewels on the field of black velvet. It’s nice that it’s one of the things I get when coming home.
I got my new passport this morning after managing to interrupt some film that was shooting outside of the Passport Office and it seems that the travel karma was on my side as my new picture is actually a really good one! I’ll post a picture tomorrow after I pick it up. Now I want to sleep for a week, but since the movers are coming by Friday to discuss things…that’s just not going to work.
It hit my like a ton of bricks last night just how big this move to Japan is. That these two weeks are all I have left with Will before we go off on Christmas Vacation and then he is gone. Four months by himself on another continent. It’s frustrating that we’re right back to being long distance. I know that we can deal with it. We’ve done it before, and there are countless other couples out there dealing with the same situations or worse, but that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. And it’s interesting that it feels like we have such little time left when we used to only have weekends together.
My brain is too frazzled to write about anything more substantial after all the travel fun, so I think I’ll grab a book and watch the snow fall.
I was at Smofcon this weekend in Toronto and had a fabulous time. Saturday I was on the ‘Song of the South Ate My Life’ with Colin Harris and one of the questions caught me completely by surprise.
The person, whose name I have completely forgotten (I’m not actually sure I ever knew it…) asked me if my work on Social Media for other conventions had negatively impacted my own personal levels of interaction with Social Media. Basically, do I still post on my own feeds anymore?
Well, clearly the answer when it comes to blogging is yes. I have so much less time to document my thoughts, or hell, even spend the time to fully form them because something is always going on with one of the conventions on social media that I need to be monitoring. Some people are surprised by the idea that it takes so much time to properly keep track of the various accounts I run. “But it’s just…Facebook! How hard could it be?”
The average person in the United States spend between thirty minutes to two hours a day online on Social Media sites. That’s for their personal stuff. Think about how much time it takes to stay up to date online and to post and read everything you do. Now multiply that by four. The way that I manage the social media accounts for the cons that I work on demands just as much work. Now, yes, I could manage them in different ways, but I think those other time saving management styles wouldn’t be as good for Worldcon, and since this is a rough time for conventions with social media, time and attention must be paid.
But I do feel the pinch, so to speak. Weekends I take off are especially sweet because I can monitor my own networks and not have to worry about others. Con weekends are especially sweet because I can ignore it completely and talk to people. I have officially declared that 2016 is the last year that I will be working on Social Media for conventions. Kansas City is near and dear to my heart, and it’s important to me that they get it right. So, if you have any desire to learn how to work on Social Media for Worldcon, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to teach you. Hell, if you want Social Media advice for any level of convention, I’d be more than willing to help you out. I’ve been doing this for coming up on three years now, and by the end of things, I’ll have five years of experience that I’d love to pass on. Maybe I’ll write a (very short) book about it.
More on Smofcon later, but I had a wonderful time. There were many great conversations and I met a ton of new people (young and old) that I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with.