wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
This was one of those weekends which reminded me how lucky I am to have such a wide range of friends and also prodded me out of my near-agoraphobic basement-dwelling existence, both of which are Good Things. I mean, I get along well with all kinds of people, including people you'd think would be slowly backing away from me and making warding gestures as they did so, and every so often I get to go out and hang with a bunch of people who apparently have next to nothing in common with me. Yet, it somehow winds up being a good time.

Saturday wasn't like that; I went up to Reston to hang out with my old friend Mark, watch movies (about which more later) burn steaks, and talk about stuff. We wound up seeing several classic movies: Night of the Hunter (downright WEIRD), the original Cat People (AWESOME), and Curse of the Cat People, which latter was bitterly disappointing since it has all the elements for a bloody revenge filled sequel to the first movie, but instead wound up being this sappy and only occasionally creepy movie about a little girl's invisible friend who JUST HAPPENS to be the ghost of Daddy's ex-wife. You know, the one who used to turn into a panther and stalk Mommy in order to claw her to ribbons? But the ghostly invisible friend doesn't do that, so unlike the original it is Not Recommended. We also watched episodes 4&5 of Game of Thrones, which is just getting more hardcore and awesome as it progresses. So much treachery and brutal awesomeness. I am definitely going to have to drop by the library and pick up the original books now, because I'm positive there's a lot of additional stuff I'm missing.

Now Sunday was interesting. Old classmate Tish Hall, who when last seen was going into the bread-baking business in a big way, was throwing a fundraiser for her daughter Sara, who is having legal difficulties that I can't go into here, and so I got into the Toaster and motored forth into the trackless wastes of Northwest Washington. It was good to see Tish again; the interesting thing is that while we agree on very little when it comes to religion and politics, we nonetheless get along extremely well. It was also good to see her husband Gavin and their boys again, meet her daughter Sara (who has great taste in music) and Tish's sister Celeste, and hang out with a bunch of Sara's friends. There was too much good food, and I'm afraid I ate too much of it, but the conversation was good and I stayed maybe longer than I should have, considering that I needed to take care of things online.

The next two days are going to be pretty quiet around here; I'll be laying low until I get my unemployment on Wednesday, at which time I'll be shelling out money for my Intermediate Accounting text and starting the clock on that course. Further down the timeline, won't be going to Balticon but a trip up to [livejournal.com profile] brian_edminster's place is a distinct possibility.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Probably one of the worst things about being unemployed, as I may have mentioned before, is that you've lost the externally-imposed structure that gives some order to your life, and if you're not very disciplined,* losing that structure can really mess you up. To cite just one example of this, since you don't have to get up early in the morning to be at work by 0800/0900, there's nothing to keep you from staying up late at night doing nothing in particular or hanging out online with e-migos from the Mountain states or the West Coast. And then you sleep in until 1100/1200, and stay up later the next night...and the next thing you know, your sleep cycle is exactly backward from everyone else's. That makes it hard to deal with the rest of the world, which is still running pretty much on a 9-5 schedule.

In my particular case, screwing with the sleep cycle throws me off my proper dietary habits because I get tired and stupid and eat stuff I shouldn't in large quantities. Then the BG goes up and the weight goes up, and Bad Things happen. That's been the story of this weekend, starting on Friday with a trip to Costco while I was in Fatigue State 4, a late-night strategic op with Goonfleet (we all died, op success) and a Saturday spent mostly in a semi-catatonic state playing Farmville In Space. So the weight is up 15 pounds from its low point back at the beginning of April; fortunately nothing else is out of whack. Except for my head, and I'm working on that.

The lack of cash flow means that I probably won't be going up to Balticon again this year, whether or not they're doing a memorial to Richard. Yes, bin Laden may be dead, but gas is still around $4/gallon and I still don't have a job. Thanks for nothing, President CarterObama.

Got an 89 on my last Government & Nonprofit Accounting test, which means I passed the course; results for Auditing will probably show up today or Monday. I'll going in for my last Management test then, will be turning in some essays and a project as well, and that'll be it for the semester. Summer semester starts next week, IIRC, but I only have one class and it's online. We'll see how that goes.


Apr. 12th, 2010 09:13 pm
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Signed up for my summer courses at NVCC. Taking all five at Alexandria; all are accounting, and most of them are split between the first and second six-week terms. The first term is easier; I'll just be taking Principles of Accounting I and Principles of Federal Taxation I; the second term, I'll add Computerized Accounting to the second parts of those classes. It's 15 credits, but since I'm probably not going to be doing anything else this summer besides scoring baseball games, I think I can manage. We'll see.
introspective BS )
Was going to do some stuff around the apartment, but I think I'll just go to bed early instead and try to get into the office at 0800 tomorrow after today's miserable failure at doing that.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] rinnytintinny on Facebook.
It made me think for a minute about how much time I've spent at conventions and/or working on them.
Would you like to know more? )
I don't tag people, but I am curious about my friends' experiences, especially oldermore experienced fans like [livejournal.com profile] badger2305, [livejournal.com profile] materia_indigo, [livejournal.com profile] chebutykin, [livejournal.com profile] qob...you know who you are, people.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
I think it's a cliche that people join fandom looking for community. Traditionally, this has certainly been the case, and to some extent continues to be the case for some people, but now that SF and fantasy have become part of the mainstream I don't think it's quite as common as it used to be. The result of this is that fandom is less of a ghetto than it used to be, and some of the social aspects have weakened as a result.
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Been mulling over the long weekend and comparing this year's Balticon to last year's as well as to the conventions I've been used to attending these last seven years in Iowa and Minnesota. Aside from obvious stuff like "don't forget to pack the power cords", I think there's some lessons I need to take out of this year's experience.
And what were those lessons? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Because there was no wifi in the lower lobby of the Hunt Valley, I saved this for posting now:

"Balticon is in the process of breaking down. Most of the members have already left (the Hammers and Mark Taylor and Richard Butler, for example) and after the very successful Charles Stross Kaffeeklatsch I'm inclined to do the same. I was stupid and had more gorp & Almond Roca than was good for me, especially considering I had a morning blood sugar of 274, which probably accounts for my tiredness. Still, there's nothing and nobody here I have any strong desire to wait for or hang out with, and I do have things to do at home. So I guess I should get my ass into the Sportage and roll on home before the traffic gets really nasty later."

Dodged that bullet, anyway. Left around 1430, stopped in Laurel for gas, BK, and some leg stretching, made it home ~1730 and hauled most of the stuff in. Haven't unpacked much, but aside from the insulin and the nose hose there was nothing I really need to have out besides Cowzilla. Going to wait until I've had a full night's sleep with the nose hose until I pull the weekend's doings together and try to make some sense out of it all.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
The only thing on my schedule today is the Guest of Honor Kaffeeklatsch at noon, which I managed to grab the last seat for. This should be good; Charles Stross gave a very good Q & A yesterday and he should be even better in a small-group format. I don't know if I want to stick around for the convention post-mortem at 1600 as I fear this may lead to my getting roped into help run this thing, and I'm still enjoying my staffing sabbatical. The main question in my mind is whether the traffic home will be better at 1 PM or 5 PM. I do know I'm not going to Arlington today, because it's going to be a mob scene. I'll say the Rosary for Mom and Dad and visit them later in the year when the place isn't overrun by tourists.

I do need to get home and file my weekly unemployment report, though; the website is asking for my PIN, which I don't have with me because I didn't think I'd need it.

Sort of related: Apparently Goonfleet had a very good weekend. I sort of wish I could have been there for some of it. Talked to P briefly about the Failbox this morning before she left for work; she said she'd try and do the work on it this week, otherwise I'll take it back and get help from [livejournal.com profile] brian_edminster on the BIOS and CMOS twiddling.

Off to the business of the day now.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
...eh, you know how this works. Anyway, came back to the room last night after suffering from fatigue and lack of motivation and was kept awake by the Internets until about 2330 when I finally went to bed, leaving wakeup call for 0800. P finally showed up about 0500 (after being out most of the night hanging around and then playing Wolves & Peasants) complaining about how boring Balticon was compared to Convergence, which is much like complaining that Rhode Island just doesn't have the same room to roam as Nevada; there are scale & context issues at work here. Anyway, we kicked that around for about 20 minutes and then she went to sleep. I couldn't get back to sleep and none of the stuff I want to see/do/eat is available yet. Thank Algore for the Intertubes.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
  • 17:14 1 panel so far at Balticon; so far all the anime & movies I want to see have been too early in AM :-( #
  • 17:15 Missed nerve gas panel for lunch w/DQ; hopefully won't miss mustard gas panel Sunday. #
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wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Woke fairly early and hit the breakfast buffet with P before going over to the Hunt Valley to get her registered. Unfortunately registration didn't open until 1000, so we stood around for about half an hour talking with various people in the line and admiring the netbooks Balticon has for their registration staff. (Very spiffy.) After that we headed up to the dealers' room where P was waylaid by corset vendors and I barely escaped from the place with only a copy of the Guest of Honor's new Merchant Princes novel, The Revolution Business, about which more anon. Conversation with Kyle (not [livejournal.com profile] gohanvox) ensued, and then I hied myself to the Gaming & Literature panel where I figured to meet [livejournal.com profile] deathquaker; I was correct, and we went off to lunch at Damon's after the panel. Conversation ensued, which was good; we then went back to the Hunt Valley where I introduced DQ to P and [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye and more conversation ensued until P insisted on lunch and [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye's presence was required at the LARP. P and I and Mr. Taylor then decamped to the bar for lunch or noshing and met Rob (not RS) there.

So I pretty much spent the day in conversation with various folks (good) and eating (not so good) and then just plain ran out of energy around 2000; I was uninterested in the Masquerade and not motivated enough to hang around for Darker Than Black or any of the room parties. There's some panels I'm interested in tomorrow, and we'll see if I manage to make it to any of them. Like, say, the mustard gas panel. Since I missed the nerve gas panel today, and all.

New Stross, yay! )
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
  • 14:20 Late out of the gate (30 min) but ready for Part 2 of drive after lunch @Laurel Chick-Fil-A #
  • 22:26 Waiting for the shuttle because I don't think I'm in shape to walk that far uphillM tbqh #
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wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Arrived at the hotel and unpacked, changed into freshly repaired cargo pants for more carrying capacity, and noticed after I finished unpacking that I'd somehow managed to misplace the power cord for the nose hose. Oops. Less importantly, I hadn't brought either of the Charles Stross books I wanted autographed.

I'd better shake a leg and head over to the Hunt Valley, the better to find my vile, treacherous friends.

Update: Friends found, new copy of The Atrocity Archives bought and signed by author, other friends found and dinner eaten shortly thereafter. Knew it was time to head back to my room when What Women Want came on the tube; had to leave or suffer continuing drain of INT and SAN.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Yeah, going to pack up the laptop along with the drugs, the nose hose and other essentials and take it on the road. Shouldn't take me too long, even if I bag up some garbage to throw away on the way out of town. Still need to stop by the CVS for Listerine and Prell, and by the tailor's for my Emergency Pants, but that won't take long.

Next post from Balticon. most likely Twittered.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Blood sugar finally down(!) to 175 this morning, but I don't know if that's because I'm using "fresh" NPH or because last night's dinner was mainly broccoli and carrots with a sandwich as an afterthought. Either way, I didn't sleep as long or as late as I have been of late - woke up around 0800 and did breakfast around 0900. Printed out the deferment form for Wells and a strong letter to Fairfax County, both of which will require a trip to Staples and the post office later today.

Thinking about leaving the laptop behind and just taking the Centro, which would leave you loyal readers at the mercy of LoudTwitter for this weekend's entries. So far I'm just thinking about it; we'll see what gets packed tomorrow morning after I get back from my appointment with the doctor at the VA.

Going to do the weekly sweep through CareerBuilder and Monster.com in search of work today; will probably file the unemployment report tomorrow morning, especially if I decide to leave Cowzilla behind.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
So, Balticon starts in a little over two weeks. Despite the recent tsuris of truck repairs, I still plan on making it there, because among other things, I promised a bunch of folks that I'd be there. I do know this - I'm not going to be staying at the Hunt Valley. The Ramada around the corner has king rooms for ~$51 a night, and I don't mind commuting a mile or so to the convention venue. (I may have to commute from Alexandria depending on how the cash flows or doesn't.) Anyway, we should talk about when and where we want to get together; whether or not we want to do a Dead Dog Party on Monday, and if so, where; also, whether people want to carpool or...something I've forgotten but is no doubt important. Giev comments with information!

(Crossposted to Facebook.)
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Jesus Mary and Joseph, the tropes wiki is worse than crack.

Thought about reading this rendition of the classic Sailor Senshi tales, which looks very well written, but on the other hand it also looks hella depressing, and I don't need that at the moment, thankyouverymuch.

Got the mailer from Balticon today. I may register right after Detour, or just wait and get a membership at the door. We'll see how the job situation and the cash flow are doing in April and decide then.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Finished my tax returns tonight; will be getting ~$500 from the Feds (soon) and paying ~$475 to the state (on April 15). I think they screwed me out of the 20% discount I was supposed to get, at that.

Put in four hours at H&R Block tonight and will be doing the same for the rest of the week. We'll see what happens over the weekend. I'm currently looking at banking the federal refund and using the H&RB pay to build up a fund for Detour and Balticon. Or seeing a wound care specialist, if Kaiser doesn't repent and let me back into their HMO. There's other insurance available through the NRA, but if I can get coverage through Kaiser, I'd much rather do that. They already know what's going on, after all.

With that, I'm toddling off to bed. It's going to be a long couple of days ahead...and sometime in the next couple of weeks, I need to clean up and empty the living room some so [livejournal.com profile] onsenmark has someplace to crash the Thursday before Katsucon.

Oh, yeah, burrito: since I didn't get home until almost 1700 today and got called in to work at H&RB immediately, I wound up doing dinner at Chipotle around 1900. Good as usual, and maybe better without the expensive guacamole.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
2009 Balticon GoH: Charles Stross.

Added to the to-do list: reservations at the Hunt Valley and a Balticon membership.

I haven't been this excited about a GoH since the year I found out David Drake was going to be at Arcana.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
I had thought about meeting Paul and Mark for breakfast at the Hunt Valley, but when I got my wakeup call at 0730 this morning I realized this plan was full of fail. This was partially due to my forgetting to pick up more bandages at the Walmart earlier that morning, but mainly because I was just too goddamn tired to function on four hours of sleep. So I called the front desk, pushed the checkout back to noon, and slept in until the second wakeup call at 1100. Somehow I managed to get up, get showered and dressed, and get everything packed by 1155. I even managed to cram the nose hose into my backpack, which meant one less thing to carry. Checked out, thought for about two minutes about heading back to the convention to pre-reg for Balticon 43, and decided that the minimal savings wasn't worth it, especially since my right calf was disturbingly warm and sore.

So I headed out on the highway, and had a largely uneventful run around the Baltimore Beltway down to the B/W Parkway and through Anacostia to 395 and home.
So what did I think? )
And that's enough of that; going to lay down and think pacifying thoughts about my leg. Maybe Urgent Care later, maybe not.

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to bitch about the Pocket Program. Maybe if you're a kangaroo, wallaby, or have leet folding skillz this qualifies as a pocket program, but sixteen pages on glossy 8.5x11 doesn't fit in MY damn pocket unless I'm wearing the Wombat Vest of Many Pockets, and even then it goes in the Kidney/Liver Armor Plate Pockets. This badly needed to be made smaller, have major parts moved to the Really Cool But Not Too Informative Program/Souvenir Book, and have the ads (!) cut. Oy.


wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)

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