mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I'd originally wanted to clear this out a week ago, and do a separate post for OVFF. Well, ... not so much, I guess.

OVFF was very good. I went into it very concerned over leaving Colleen with Emmy for the weekend -- if I'd known when I made the reservations just where she was in her recovery, I wouldn't have. But she had a good time without me anyway, and the YD really outdid herself taking care of her and keeping her company. So I was able to relax and enjoy the con after all.

And it was a good con; I'd missed it a lot. As usual, I spent most of my time either in concerts, or talking to people. Met a couple of new ones, which is always nice.

Also as usual, I didn't have time to do nearly as much catching up and song-swapping as I wanted to. Not sure what can be done about that, except maybe trying to keep up my blogging.

We got a reasonable number of Trick or Treaters for Halloween, but still had a lot of candy left over for the party.

Quote of the week:

Colleen, as I was getting comfortable in bed beside her: Now you have your pussy.
Me: I'd rather have your pussy.
Curio: picked exactly that moment to pounce in between us. Perfect timing.

A few good links in the notes.

raw notes )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Kind of surprised nobody on my Dreamwidth reading list has posted this yet. It's been posted on LJ.

    Best Song:  Joan - Heather Dale/Ben Deschamps
    Best Classic Song:  Second Hand Songs - Jonathan Turner
    Best Performer:  Alexander James Adams
    Best Writer/Composer:  Talis Kimberley
    Best Fairytale Song: Dryad's Promise - Betsy Tinney
    Best Alien Song:  Little Fuzzy Animals - Frank Hayes
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes )

Eeep!! A week is way too long to be playing catch-up. I haven't fallen behind on my reading, so my pants aren't bankrupt; I wonder what item of clothing corresponds to posting. Shirt, maybe.

I think that if you want the details, you'll have to slog through the notes. (Ugh!)

Most of the week was, of course, taken up by OVFF, which was wonderful even if I didn't win a Pegasus -- there are people I only see once or twice a year, and I did a lot of catching up. I even met a few new people. I only sang a handful of songs. That's ok.

MEW's concert was magical, with a stage full of backup musicians. Wow. And it was especially good to hear Duane Elms in concert after all the years he's been away from filk.

The netbook worked out OK; I only felt a need for more battery life a couple of times. The biggest problem was not having set up synchronization via git before I left. Next time.

I didn't end up paying up as much attention to my emotions as I intended to, but I don't think I noticed much anxiety interacting with people. The major insight is that most, if not all, of my problems in that area are due to low self-esteem, not social anxiety. It's not that I expect to be rejected; I expect to be ignored. Or perhaps that I set things up so that I'm more likely to be ignored, because that's easier to handle than rejection. Yeah. That.

I have a really hard time imagining that somebody might prefer talking to me to whatever they're doing at the moment.

The next week is likely to be busy. My boss cornered me late yesterday afternoon and said something like "You know that server project you've been working on that's due to be finished at the end of December? How about getting a simplified version going by the end of next week?" Right. Oddly enough, that's going to be pretty easy. But still...

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I'm not dead, and my pants aren't bankrupt, but my shirt is badly in need of a loan. I was keeping my "to.do" file on my netbook, and the data has yet to be synced up. Maybe this evening.

OVFF was a good con for me: lots of great music, conversations, and people. Only three things could have made it better; maybe next year.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
I indeed missed my connecting flight; I'm stuck in Denver until 7:15, and will be arriving at OVFF sometime well after midnight.
mdlbear: (hacker traveling)
Or else not -- there's some maintenance issue, and then flight is delayed for an unknown amount of time. If I miss my connection in Denver there's no telling when I'll get in. Grump.

Meanwhile at least SJC has free wifi.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes )

The day was mostly taken up with two shopping trips. The first was Fry's, where I found that, not surprisingly, the $89 1.5TB drive advertised in their flier had sold out by 11am on Friday. Got a couple of other useful items, made one more stop on the way home, and got home very low on blood sugar. It was, evidently, a good thing I hadn't gone for walkies first.

The YD wanted to bake; we sent her across the street for eggs. She came back with 5 dozen.

After lunch Colleen suggested a Costco run -- her first with the scooter. That was fun. I never did get a walk in, but we probably did a mile or so in the store. Go Rocket-Snail!

By the time we got back, the YD had made two dozen yummy, if slightly small, gluten-free cupcakes. I win. She also offered to make devilled eggs for dinner, if I boiled them. Colleen suggested making 2 dozen, which was probably excessive for three people. But pretty tasty.

I probably don't need to wonder why my triglycerides are too high.

We went for a drive in the evening; very pleasant. More conversation than usual.

An IM from [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi telling me that she simply can't make it to OVFF this year. She was afraid I'd be upset over losing my backup singer; I was much more concerned about how disappointed she is. She charged me with running the "Just Plain Folk" circle. Must remember to pack a copy of Rise Up Singing.

I am so ready for this last year to be over. Going by the Jewish calendar it already is; by the usual pagan one we'll be sending it out the door at out Halloween party. I'll take one of those, thanks.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes )

Wow! For a day when not a whole lot happened, I sure seem to have a lot of notes. Of course, a lot of that is a partial transcript of my IM conversation with a sales droid at Nokia, finding out that the shiny new n900 Linux phone is expensive, not subsidized, and works only with T-Mobile.

Another chunk of it is my OVFF air travel itinerary. I'll be getting in around dinnertime on Thursday, and leaving Monday afternoon. I'm doing it on credit-card points, but air travel via Wells Fargo points seems to have gotten a lot more expensive.

I spent a lot of the afternoon comfort-eating for no particularly good reason, and feeling too weird and sad to get much done, while men with noisy chainsaws took out our South-side neighbors' dracena tree. I'm sad to see it go -- it made a good landmark for the house.

I had a good talk with Colleen about some of the issues that came up over the weekend, mostly around her feelings of exclusion when someone comes to visit me and not primarily her. Don't laugh -- we've been married a third of a century, and this only really started coming up a year and a half ago. One of the ways she used to deal with it was to leave the room and go do something else; that's why the fact that she's able to use the kitchen again is such a big deal.

The other bit of deep discussion, this morning with Naomi, involved the fact that I DO NOT LIKE the way things happen inside my head before I have a chance to think about whether I want them to. Instant reactions like snapping at people when I'm busy. Emotional responses like panic attacks. Naomi suggested training myself to pause before speaking; maybe count to 3 or take a deep breath. This will help with the automatic snapping, at least. Thinking about my emotional reactions -- basically mindfulness -- will eventually lead to thinking before I react, even if I have to start out thinking about them in retrospect.

We'll see.

Colleen took a couple of unsupported steps from the commode to the bed again. It's a start. She can make fast progress when she's determined enough -- I recognize that look now.

I should have taken cyclobenzaprine along with my naproxen -- my shoulder was hurting more in the morning.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

This year's OVFF marked the first anniversary of the late-night conversation and song-swapping session with [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi (briefly mentioned here) that I think of as the first sign of the changes that eventually led to the River posts.

It was particularly appropriate, then, that she spent the con crashing in my room. It was something of an experiment, and a very successful one: I experienced much the same level of casual friendliness that's become familiar from years of sharing hotel rooms with my daughters. (Without arguments over who sleeps in which bed or what time curfew is -- a definite plus.)

The con was a good opportunity to re-connect with many of the friends I made last year, and to try to make a few new ones (though not as many as I would have liked). Few of my conversations got as deep as I would have liked them to, and there wasn't nearly enough time for all the conversations I wanted to have. *sigh*

I found it a little easier to start conversations with strangers, including three of my four airplane seatmates. Part of the trick, I think, is simply using my time better: I used to hang out on the edge of a conversation waiting for someone to notice me or for an opening to appear; it never worked and left me feeling left out. Now I try to stand or sit next to someone who isn't in a conversation. I'm still not very good at getting things started, but improving. Sharing a table at breakfast or dinner is always a good strategy.

 

On the negative side, just because I'm increasingly aware of things like body language, subtext, and tacit messages doesn't mean that I'm any damned good at either sending or interpreting them. In fact, it's probably worse: if I recognize but totally misread a message that I would have ignored a year ago, the results are at best highly embarassing. And in my little bear-like brain there's nothing worse than being embarassed. Similarly if I notice that I'd sent a totally unintended tacit message to someone I had no wish to offend. I spent quite a bit of time Sunday evening wondering whether I'd ever be any good at this whole "being human" thing.

I had one of each; no need to go into details on the first one. In the second case, yes, I really did want to finish a LJ post, which I was working on through an ssh connection, without having to worry about the battery dying and the connection dropping. It wasn't a rejection. There are lots of reasons why I'll leave a conversation: I might think it's over, I might have something that needs doing, or I might be feeling left out. I might even be bored, but that's rare, and never happened at OVFF. I'm afraid the person I'd been talking to thought I was rejecting her. Or something.

 

Public Service Announcements:

  • You can't count on me to interpret your body language, tone of voice, or implied messages correctly, even if I sort-of notice that they're there. Use words, if at all possible.
  • There's rarely, if ever, an unspoken subtext to anything I do. What you see me doing is what I'm doing, and I'll tell you why if you ask.
mdlbear: (hacker traveling)

This is basically just a set of random notes. First the health notes:

Didn't manage to get out for a walk at all; did some walking Thursday and Monday in the DFW airport.

Stayed on the gluten-free diet pretty well, modulo a couple of brownies in the con suite and a slice of German chocolate cake at the Pegasus dinner.

I forgot my Claritin. Stupid bear. From now on I'll just add it to the evening pill salad.

Made it through the weekend without resorting to the ankle brace; I wore it on the trip out but started having leg cramps; I took it off in the plane.

 

Now the travel notes:

It's reasonable to leave the hotel at 11am for a 12:50 flight. Could have gone a little later, but not much later, and one wants to allow for traffic, delays, and so on.

It's not necessary to take both the raincoat and a flannel shirt; probably a sport jacket and the stuff-sack rain shell would be fine if I remember to wear long sleeves through the airport.

I seem to have found the optimum luggage setup. Wearing the backpack and carrying Plink works best for, e.g., going through security and actually boarding the plane. For the layover, it's best to sling Plink on my back and put the backpack on the little Samsonite folding luggage cart. Takes a couple of minutes to switch over, but it's worth it. The folded cart can be wedged between Plink's handles.

DFW does not provide free wi-fi, but there's at least one kiosk (provided by Clearchannel, somewhere around A30) with free wired ethernet and power. I need to make sure the Zip-Link ethernet cable is where it's easy to find.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Many hugs and goodbyes this morning. Didn't sing even once in the Dead Dog, but there was a little hallway filk on the way back to the room at midnight, where I sang The River for [livejournal.com profile] quadrivium (who I particularly wanted to hear it because it's just crying out for a piano arrangement), [livejournal.com profile] weirdsister, [livejournal.com profile] sweetmusic_27, and others I've forgotten. Also had my hair and beard trimmed by the marvelous [livejournal.com profile] museinred.

All-in-all a very good convention: not much singing, but lots of great conversation and catching-up, and meeting a few new people (though I'm still not nearly as good at that as I'd like to be)

Met a fellow OVFF attendee in the Columbus airport, and had a great talk on the plane with Paul (last name forgotten, of course), an old folk music fan who'd spotted Plink in the airport.

Time to go, I think.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Not much to say about Saturday, really. Lots of good conversation, but I've forgotten most of the details.

Sang The River as a one-shot in the morning group, and took in the concerts, which were wonderful as usual.

People have already posted the details of the Pegasus awards, so I don't have to.

After the Peggies I crawled off to a thinly-populated filk room so I could sing The River to [livejournal.com profile] joecoustic, who had missed the one-shots and wanted to hear it. It was starting to fill up around midnight, when I decamped to the Just Plain Folks theme circle. This was followed by childrens' songs in the Pajama Party circle, which turned into open filking at 1:00 by way of Daddy's World. Went off to bath and bed at 2:45.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

I think I'm going to do this in reverse chronological order:

Just got back from the Sunday evening expedition to BD's Mongolian Barbecue. Only had one serving, though I opted for the 2-bowl "unlimited" variety. Asked for tea and got iced with some kind of fruit mixed in. Sigh. OTOH, it has a huge variety of fixin's, and the conversation was fantastic.

Rode to BD's with [livejournal.com profile] joecoustic, continuing a conversation we'd started earlier in the con suite. We were joined by Kanef and Ben Newman, continuing a conversation on the computational linguistics of songwriting. Notable quote (about a bit of Smalltalk trivia I tossed into the mix) "You mean they implemented Boolean as a union of two unit classes? Cool." They did, and it is.

I'd found myself in the con suite because I'd been sent to deliver a message to Peter Alway; ended up in a good discussion on dulcimer. It's been like that all weekend -- the main reason I haven't been blogging much is that I've been spending most of my time (outside of concerts) talking to people.

Won a handsome gourd/guiro/rainstick in the Interfilk auction; it'll be interesting seeing how it fits into my luggage. I didn't mind bidding it up to $30 because I'd been lazy and hadn't brought anything to donate.

Caught the song contest and a couple of the morning two-fers.

Breakfast was interesting -- Came in by myself (through not immediately asking the two young ladies ahead of me in line if I could join them), but another table had already mentioned to the greeter that they were looking for more. They were all locals; the woman next to me was a children's librarian named Lin -- short for Linea. The series of coincidences was impressive: Mom is Lynn, short for Evelyn, and a (retired) librarian; the young lady whose wedding we attended last weekend was named Linea. Fun.

Table-hopped after breakfast, with conversations with [livejournal.com profile] musicahumana and Barry and Sally Childs-Helton, and the GOHs, [livejournal.com profile] stevieannie and [livejournal.com profile] micktim.

Saturday to follow, to prevent this from getting too long.

mdlbear: (nike)

Sang QV -- all 9 verses of it -- as a "twofer" this evening. First one after the Pegasus Nominee concert, and thinly attended but not as thinly as the ones after it. Not much visible reaction, but several good comments afterward. So, yay!

Spent almost the entire time after that in the con suite talking. That's really what I go the cons for these days. Fair amount of time talking with Becca Leathers, who's co-toastmastering. She's giving a fingerpicking workshop tomorrow; my work on QV managed to impress her. We swapped stories about Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, among many other things.

Now I have to decide whether to gp back downstairs and try to squeeze in a few songs, or go crash. Probably best to take a bath and crash -- I'm getting fuzzy.

mdlbear: (hacker traveling)
One place where location-aware computing would be really useful would be for setting the timezone on a laptop. Of course, in the absence of a GPS in the laptop, you'd need something like location passed in by DHCP.

And I wonder whether ssh passes timezone in the environment. Worth checking.

In other notes, ssh bandwidth between here and home sucks rocks. Seems OK to dreamhost.com; probably a routing problem.
mdlbear: (hacker traveling)

DFW, 4:52pm: grumps

The oncologist was called away for an emergency, so Colleen's ultrasound was done by a tech who wouldn't tell her anything. I'll keep you posted.

There doesn't appear to be any free net in the terminal: all tmobile. Damned if I'll pay $10 or whatever for less than an hour ten minutes on the net. At least I can charge for free.

8:12pm OVFF: Grins

A really pleasant flight, with a good conversation with my seatmate, Carol, who was heading to an Information Science conference. Gave her a promo copy of CC&S.

About to head downstairs to socialize and maybe even sing.

mdlbear: (sparkly rose)
Colleen's CAT scan (seems appropriate for a Cheshire Cat, doesn't it) a couple of weeks ago showed what appear to be cysts on her ovaries and kidneys. She's going in for an ultrasound this morning; it's being done by the oncologist herself, so she'll probably have preliminary results by the time I get to Dallas.

Wish her luck, please.

Odd

Oct. 22nd, 2008 07:43 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Several things that I know were with me at ConChord seem to have gone missing, among them a little white power strip with a short cord, and my top hat. Very weird.

They'll turn up, of course, long after they're no longer needed.

Other than that, I'm packed.

9:25 The power strip showed up in Colleen's computer bag.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Once again it's way too close to a con, and I've done way too little to get ready. I can, at least, post my itinerary.

AA 1588 SJC Oct 23 10:10am -> DFW 03:30pm  27B
AA 3597 DFW Oct 23 05:30pm -> CMH 09:00pm  14B

AA 2249 CMH Oct 27 12:50pm -> DFW 02:25pm  26D
AA 1355 DFW Oct 27 05:30pm -> SJC 07:10pm  27B

You can find my cell phone number on the contact page at Grand Central Starport.

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