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Catchup

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Wow, it’s apparently been two weeks since I posted here.

FOGcon was good. It was great to get some time with Mary Anne. (She actually arrived the day before, and we had Ethiopian food for dinner and then went to see Hunger Games.) At the con, I attended various good panels, such as the one about tropes, and “Mars Wants Our Genitals,” and the body/self-image one, and “Body Image 201,” and probably others I’m forgetting. And had meals and/or chatting with various cool folks. A nice weekend.

I moderated a panel on ESP in SF; after a slow start, it turned into a pretty good discussion. And although I made a couple of moderating mistakes, including unintentionally mistreating about four audience members (including Mary Anne), several people unsolicitedly told me afterward that I’d done a good job. This was, I think, the fourth panel I’ve moderated, and I think only the second in which the audience outnumbered the panelists. So I’m still learning.

M and I stopped by the open filking on Friday night and sang a couple of Cat’s songs with the three filkers who were there. Saturday night we stopped by karaoke, but only for a little while. She sang a song; I briefly contemplated it, but decided not to. Still a bit scarred from my bad karaoke experience of many years ago, but also there didn’t seem to be any songs I was really confident about my ability to sing. I’d like to try karaoke sometime without an audience, and with full control over the machine, so I could try a line or two of a song and see whether I enjoyed it; but getting up in front of an audience with no preparation is not my cup of tea.

Anyway. Dropped M off at SFO on Saturday afternoon, then drove back across the Bay to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening playing Space Alert with Geoff H and his family. It was fun but dauntingly complex. (I gather that if you start with the training missions, it’s less complex, but they had played before so we dove right into the real missions.) I think we played four times and lost three of those times. I described it as kind of like a mix of RoboRally (for pre-recording your moves and then watching them play out in a changing environment), Awful Green Things from Outer Space (for comic combat hijinx aboard a spaceship), Pandemic (for being a cooperative game), and Paranoia (for the general air of cheerfully offbeat dark bureaucratic humor, plus the ability to have clones in order to keep playing the same person). Though there’s a lot more to it than that might suggest.

The almost two weeks since then have been pretty much a blur. Almost all of my time has been spent on day job and magazine stuff. Occasional socializing (among other things, Kam and I went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Totem the other night, and last weekend I had dinner with the Evanses for the first time in months), but mostly not.

Oh, and Lori and I watched the Phineas and Ferb movie last Sunday. I had never seen it, nor the TV show, and knew almost nothing about it going into it. It was awesome—very very funny and generally delightful. I gather all y’all already know about it, but fwiw, if you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. I hear the TV show is also fun, but repetitive; I figure I’ll watch at least an episode or two at some point.

Haven’t slept much or well this past week; generally four to six hours a night, with random wake-up-for-no-reason interruptions.

Am slightly less swamped with magazine stuff than I was a few weeks ago, but still pretty swamped. We’ve rejected 1,033 stories in the 59 days since we reopened to subs, with an average response time of 9.6 days (maximum 52, minimum 2, median 9); I’m very pleased that we’ve kept responses so fast, thanks primarily to our First Readers.

In other news, I finished reading A Civil Contract, in bits and pieces over the course of a few weeks. It had a lot of interesting and unusual stuff in it, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Grand Sophy. And I think I may be done with Heyer, at least for the time being; I may’ve read too many of her books in a row. Am now reading book 2 of Hunger Games in spare moments.

Was given a portable Scrabble set for my birthday, which inspired me to buy both Bananagrams and Syzygy, so I now have a veritable plethora of little squarish letter tiles: one set in lightweight wood, one in lightweight purple plastic, and one in satisfyingly heavy ivory-colored Bakelite-like plastic. I’m sure at some point they’ll be used for some kind of game.

Okay, I think that's all I have to report. I expect to devote pretty much this entire weekend to magazine and taxes (plus maybe a little day-job stuff) (oh, and I think co-writing an essay with M), as well as (with luck) some sleep.

3 Comments

Happy belated birthday!

Friends of ours got a karaoke set, and I was completely dreading the next time we'd go eat dinner at their place. I am so not a sing-in-front-of-other-people person. But I *loved* it. I never expected that. It helped that we could all sort of basically carry a tune, but none of us were particularly good singers. It was such a blast. We did it many, many more times after that first time, and I looked forward to all of them. Now they've moved away and I'm going through withdrawal. Though I still don't think I'd sing in front of a group....unless they'd all gone first, and none of them could sing very well, either.


Of the many shows my kid likes watching, most are mind-numbing, a few are bearable, a couple are pleasant, but only one is wonderful -- and that's Phineas and Ferb. They do definitely have a formula that can be repetitive, but fairly early on in the series they start playing with that formula, frequently twisting it, tweaking it, or even commenting on it in a way that's meta without being cutesy. Not every episode is perfect, of course, but they're usually enjoyable, and the best ones are great. The time travel episodes are marvelous. Heather and I actually watch the new episodes even if the kid isn't around!


Glad you had such a good time at FOGcon. If I keep coming to the Bay Area as often as I do, maybe next year I can tweak my schedule to visit the same weekend as the con, and perhaps even drag Leonard along!

Best of luck with your sleeping.


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